China Wants to Fights ISIS in Iraq, But Not Under US Command

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( — December 14, 2014)  — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered military assistance in Iraq to defeat ISIS, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jafari says. Beijing has volunteered to deploy air force, however, it refuses to do so under command of US led coalition against ISIS.

The conversation between the ministers took place during a UN anti-terrorism meeting in New York back in September, the Financial Times reports.

Though it does sell weapons to many other nations, the offer is a bit off course of China’s official policy of non-interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.

“[Mr Wang] said, our policy does not allow us to get involved in international coalition. I welcomed this initiative. I told him…we are ready to deal with the coalition and also co-operate with other countries outside this coalition,” Jafari told the Financial Times.

Jafari added that Baghdad does not want overseas soldiers in its territory due to concerns that it would lead to anti-foreigner sentiment among Iraqis.

China’s Defense Ministry declined to comment, however, China’s foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei confirmed that during their meeting in New York, Wang offered Jafari military support in intelligence exchange and personnel training, though he refused to comment on whether China was supplying air support or missiles to Iraq.

“China has been fighting terrorism and has been providing support and assistance to Iraq, including the Kurdish region, in our own way, and will continue to do so within the best of our capabilities,” Hong told the newspaper.

Reportedly, National Security Advisor Susan Rice in her recent trip to Beijing urged China to join the US led coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Previously, referring to instability in the Middle East President Obama told The New York Times that the Chinese have been “free riders for the last 30 years.”

“Nobody ever seems to expect them to do anything when this stuff comes up,” Obama said.

China is the biggest foreign investor in Iraq’s oil industry, and will lose billions if the ISIS manages to take over the country’s oil fields. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has already had to abandon its oilfields in Syria.

As a result of US-led airstrikes, the ISIS advance has mostly halted, and Iraq has made slow progress reclaiming territory in the north and west of the country.