Quote Originally Posted by lakedaemonian View Post
If China has a substantial long term deal with Iran then that sounds like a really logical(and integral) part of Chinaís One Belt, One Road initiative over the next 25-50 years.

Iranís large population would be a substantial potential export market for Chinese goods/services and Iranís energy shipped overland to fuel China would be safer than vulnerable SLOCs.

Itís hard to tell how this will play out.

I suspect Iranís increasing aggression is linked to the increasing pain of sanctions...

The same could be said with Zimbabwe and itís Chinese nexus

Even if currently enduring substantial pain, Iran likely has much more capacity to endure sanction hardship if Zimbabwe/Venezuela as analog Chinese supported pariah nations are anything to go by.

Itís a funny world.

Iran and the US governments hate each other.

Iran and Saudi governments truly hate each other.

Iran and China arenít exactly allies, but share ďadversaries of adversaries as allies of convenienceĒ.

Perhaps the Russia/Turkey alignment, thought impossible just a few years ago due to very long simmering feuds and now on track to be geopolitical BFFs are an indication of tectonic change, but I seriously doubt it.

But I canít see a Nixon goes to China moment exploiting the Sunni/Shia divide like Nixon did between Soviet/Chinese communism.

Perhaps Putin in Turkey was it, or the start of it?
It is the natural alliance of overtly authoritarian regimes. Think of it as a multinational mutual support society. I agree with your observation the Chinese are looking to find durable markets for their goods and services to reduce their dependence on the USA, and Europe.
It's also one of the reasons I think the pundits are wrong about India. At least at this time in history, India doesn't look like a natural participant, despite its longstanding ties with Russia.

Almost two decades ago even the Saudis and Mubarak in Egypt were tiring of hearing incessant lectures about human rights and democratic reforms from their American benefactors. China looked very appealing back then, and I have recollections of writing some posts on this forum about those subtle realignments underway when I lived in the Gulf. To the point that I believed (and still do) that it will be the Chinese navy that replaces the 5th Fleet as the USA's "Fortress America" inclinations play out in time.