Recent events in the Persian Gulf makes one take a second look at Revelation 16:12” “The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great Euphrates River. Its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east.” (Revelation 16:12, ISV).
Iranian and Chinese naval vessels are planning joint drills focusing on “relief and rescue operations” in the Persian Gulf for the first time.
“Discussing and studying the two countries’ naval relief and rescue operations and drills, confronting sea incidents and accidents, and gaining the necessary technical preparedness, are among the actions to be practiced with the Chinese army forces,” Admiral Amir Hossein Azad, commander of Iran’s First Naval Zone said Saturday, according to the FARS news agency.
“The voyage of the Chinese army’s fleet of warships for the first time in the Persian Gulf waters is aimed at joint preparation of Iran and China for establishing peace, stability, tranquility and multilateral and mutual cooperation,” Azad said.
Last year Iranian ships traveled to the Sea of China “to deliver Iran’s message of peace and friendship to the Chinese,” FARS reported.
Many believe that the Chinese presence in the Gulf is only the first step of a concerted effort by the Chinese to establish a long-term presence in the Gulf and to make inroads with the various Muslim factions in the region. They are using Iran as a gateway to that presence.
As the Muslim influence in the area grows, talk is also beginning to grow about a pan Arab caliphate that would stretch from Lebanon to Pakistan and Afghanistan. China is just a stone’s throw away from those two countries.
The caliphate, a system of government at whose head is the caliph, or vicegerent of God on earth. From its origins after the death of Muhammad in 632, the caliphate grew rapidly in stature concomitantly with the major conquests of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Iran during the reigns of ʿUmar and ʿUthmān. It is the dream of ISIS and other groups to reestablish that caliphate and bring Sharia Law back into the mainstream.
With the territory gains ISIS with Tehran’s help is making, Iran is poised to be the regional hegemon in the Middle East. China may be considering it prudent to cultivate the Iranians and become an influence in the area. They also hope that forming a relationship with Iran will help forestall any encroachment of a future caliphate eastward from the furthest reaches of a Muslim caliphate.
This strategy may already be bearing fruit.
A few days ago the Iranian Navy stopped pirates from attacking a Chinese vessel in the Gulf of Aden, the FARS news agency reported. The container ship was allegedly en route from Singapore to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) at the time of the attack.
The Iranian Navy has deployed ships in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, since November 2008 “to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.” In 2008, an Iranian chartered cargo ship was attacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Yemen.
The Oil Equation
Beijing buys oil from Iran and advocates on behalf of Tehran at the United Nations Security Council, as well as during nuclear talks with the P5+1 (five permanent members of the Council plus Germany). China is one of Iran’s most reliable trading partners, according to The Diplomat, allowing Tehran to maintain its currency and evade damage from sanctions.
This year Beijing even increased its import of Iranian oil by 48 percent in the first half of 2014.
But the United States is partly to blame: the State Department issued an exemption from sanctions to China, in exchange for reduced purchases of Iranian crude oil. The waivers, renewed in mid–2014, appear to have encouraged the Chinese to increase their import of Iranian ultralight oil, rather than decrease their purchases. The two countries also trade other items, including arms.
What the Chinese fail to understand is that Islam considers the Chinese, who practice Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and to a growing degree Christianity, infidels. Under Islamic law, infidels are persecuted; their churches burned, and their people murdered because they are NOT worshipping the same God.
Iran may foster a relationship with China, only so long as Peking suits their needs. When their usefulness has ended and Iran has achieved their strategic goals, Tehran will turn on them as they have all the other alliances they have made.
How China responds to this turn of events may be a reaction of Biblical proportions.
Commander: Iranian, Chinese Navies Readying to Conduct Joint Naval Drills — FARS News Agency
China and Iran’s Historic Naval Exercise — The Diplomat
Iran, China Prepare For Joint Naval Exercises — Radio Free Europe
China and Iran to Conduct Joint Naval Exercises in the Persian Gulf — New York Times
Iran, China prepare to conduct unprecedented joint naval drills — The Times of Israel