Since ancient times, Lebanon has been a centre of civilised communication between East and West; ships that carry Chinese Silk have launched from Lebanese shores heading towards the most prominent capitals of the West.
Beirut was the link between the peoples of the world, especially since transportation was primitive and the American continent did not yet exist.
Ancient China benefited from Lebanon’s strategic location during the actual period of the Silk Road, as Lebanon was an important region on the ancient Silk Road and an essential part of it.
The richness of Lebanon in natural resources and its distinguished geographical location were behind the inclusion of Lebanon in the Ottoman Sultanate, and France has made Lebanon a foothold and a strategic point overlooking the Middle East.
Despite its small geographical area, strong countries were interested in Lebanon because of its geographical location and its view of the shores of the Mediterranean, which makes it a gateway to enter the Middle East or to go west.
The Lebanese political situation and diplomatic policy based on bringing together the countries of the West and the East at the same table without enmity or differences have made Lebanon a political dilemma, as it has become the main country in achieving the major strategic policy goals of the strongest countries.
The United States will not be able to control the Middle East securely without entering through the gate of this region and retaining the key to the gate, just as China cannot implement the Belt & Road Initiative in an effective manner without crossing from the Lebanese Gate towards the West.
Lebanon is a member state of the Belt & Road Initiative, and it has played an important role in the success of the ancient Silk Road
Today, Lebanon is going through a sensitive phase in the political system of government, so that the people are unanimous in restoring the political decision from the great powers to the national scene.
It has been the norm that when any president is elected or any decision is made, the majority of politicians should communicate with regional and international powers without appealing to the popular will.
Perhaps this process, which is outside the legal and constitutional frameworks that violate the sovereignty of the state, is the most important reason behind the failure of Chinese investment to enter Lebanon strongly, these investments, which will be the biggest driver for boosting the Lebanese economy and ensuring national sovereignty at the same time.
The Lebanese rejoiced over the formation of the new government headed by Dr Hassan Diab, and this government has made its important promise to move away from the political traditional way of governance and work seriously to save the Lebanese economy and support the exchange rate of the Lebanese lira.
In order to accomplish this task, Dr Ghazi Wazni was chosen as Minister of Finance. Dr Wazni as an economist is fully certain that the process of saving the national economy will not take place from the inside.
Lebanon needs either donations of support from foreign countries or borrowing like what happened in CEDRE, which will cost the state a lot and increase the proportion of public debt and the last way out is the government’s adoption of a new policy based on facilitating foreign investment in Lebanon, which increases imports to the national treasury and accelerates the movement of economic growth by securing jobs, foreign exchange entry and restoring confidence in Lebanon as a potential economic partner.
Experiences with previous governments have proven that Lebanon is still in the cycle of external dependence and that there is no actual Lebanese internal political decision. This issue appeared clearly after the Chinese investment file was neglected, as was the practice with many other economically and socially important issues.
In an interview with Chinese Ambassador to Lebanon Wang Kejian, he stressed that China is ready to invest in Lebanon and provide facilities for the most important Chinese companies to come and invest, provided that the official request from the Lebanese government is appropriate.
Lebanon is an official partner of China through the Belt & Road Initiative, and this is the appropriate opportunity for Lebanon to support its national economy and improve infrastructure, knowing that China has become one of the most important industrial countries and is able to make Lebanon an oasis of stability and prosperity unparalleled in the Middle East region.
In addition to the strategic location on the Mediterranean, marine gas fields have been discovered containing huge quantities, and these are also important opportunities for the strategic partnership between China and Lebanon by contributing to oil exploration.
The new Lebanese government, which adopts the slogans of independence, fighting corruption and restoring looted funds, is required today to open doors to Chinese investment and encourages the development of the relationship between China and Lebanon in all fields.
A large part of the problem that Lebanon is currently going through is the economic deficit and the state’s inability to meet the needs of the financial market.
Therefore, for the sake of the Lebanese economy’s good and the public good, the new government must take immediate initiative to give guarantees to the Chinese for coming and investment, and that this position should be national without external influences.