The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and toppled the Saddam Hussein government without authorisation of the United Nations. The situation in the Middle East has now taken a dangerous turn with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which poses a threat to China's economic interests in the region. The IS' intention is to "build" a new state and redefine the map of the Middle East.
China is the largest importer of Iraqi oil, accounting for more than 50 per cent of the total. Since seeking alternative energy resources and spreading the risks are makeshift strategies, China needs to take preemptive measures to protect its economic interests in the region.
The world economy relies heavily on Middle East oil. So the international community should work together and take coordinated measures to overcome short-term, mid-term as well as long-term political and economic risks, because no resolution to the Middle East crisis looks in sight. Given these facts, China should not adopt an ostrich policy or decide to stay out of negotiations to deal with the changes in the region. Also, as a rising power, China cannot shy away from its international responsibilities.