I play Chinese Chess. It is a game primarily of position. Western approaches to the game, in which players muster strength and keep track of pawns eliminated, fail in the face of bold sacrifices that may lose key pieces in order to gain an unconquerable position. It is a game of rapid movement and development, unlike its European cousin, where pieces create fortifications that must be assailed. In Chinese Chess, everything is in motion in a very un-Western-like way.
Which brings me to Iran… the USA/Israel axis wants to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon, and have even hinted that a war may be needed to enforce that wish. While China would prefer to get its oil from Iran without trouble, it can withstand a war with Iran interrupting its energy supplies. China knows it’s going to experience a huge downturn in its economy in the near future. Why not take all its lumps at once? In exchange for that sacrifice, the USA becomes horribly entangled in Iran.
Ten years down the road, China would emerge from its second Cultural Revolution with its house restored to order – after considerable hardship and loss of lives – and the USA would be either wrecked on the rocks of the Middle East, or perilously close to such a fate.
What if the USA stays out of Iran? Well, ten years down the road, the USA may be in better financial and military shape, but China will have a nuclear-armed ally to secure the other side of the Central Asian petrochemical field. That, in turn, would necessitate an alliance with Russia to act as a counter to Chinese power. Should China have closer ties with Russia, then the USA would be looking at a period of decline until China and Russia have their eventual falling-out…
So, basically, Iran holds the USA in check. Either we have a war with it or ignore it, either option to China’s benefit.