Kassioun Editorial 1142: How Would “Turning East” Be Real?
From time to time, the slogan “turning East” appears at the official and semi-official levels in Syria. Temporarily, media spotlight gets intensely shed on this slogan, through articles, analyses, media discussions, statements, etc., and then it disappears completely.
However, in any case, whether when it appears or disappears, it is nothing more than a news story and mere ink on paper. In fact, it has not yet reached the stage of being “ink on paper” except as memorandums of understanding signed with the initials, and no real additional steps having taken place over the past years.
If we set aside the attempts to exploit the slogan “turning East” as a mere slogan used within the context of the conflict, and try to concretely describe it, as a strategy for the state and people in Syria, it is possible to identify several essential meanings to turning East, including the following:
First: Getting out of financial dependency on the dollar and euro system. This includes clear policies to expand the currency basket and definitively change balances within it, and to enhance external exchanges using local currencies. In a word: a radical change to existing financial policies, especially those followed by the Central Bank of Syria.
Second: Reversing the trade exchange equation, which, despite everything that has happened and despite the sanctions, is still definitively leaning towards exchanges with the West. This is despite the fact that its prices are higher than the global price, not to mention that they are higher than the prices that can be obtained in the East. Additionally, there is issue of the increasing brokerage and commissions percentages that go into the pockets of war lords, and which are paid for by the Syrian people.
Third: Limiting infrastructure reconstruction projects to the East, primarily to China. There is no room for comparison with what is offered by the West that are of a blackmailing nature, in addition to their low feasibility. As an example: renewable energy projects for which several major countries in the East can offer real alternatives, whether within the renewable energy sector itself, or within the traditional energy sectors.
Fourth: Accelerating the Syrian-Turkish settlement process to reach the opening of our borders with Turkey, which is not only our borders with it, but also our main, and perhaps only, gateway to the entire East, including China, Russia, India, etc. This would break the Western blockade, blackmail, and sanctions, once and for all. This is the only way to break these sanctions, because those who are hoping for the West’s approval will only bring on devastation, because the West’s project is based precisely on the continuation of chaos and attrition.
Fifth: Breaking with dependence on the West implies breaking with brutal liberal policies, such as lifting subsidies, indirect privatization, etc., the dangers of which do not stop at withdrawing the country’s wealth from the pockets of its people and into the pockets of the big criminals and through them towards the West. Rather, the dangers extend to serving “creative” chaos and continuously deepening it. Furthermore, the dangers also include contributing to the displacement of Syrians from their homeland, bolstering the threats of partition and renewed violence with every additional day of the continuation of the liberal policies.
Sixth: Turning east in the strategic sense implies actual, not verbal, action against American “creative chaos”. Concretely, it means breaking once and for all with Western “step for step” games in all their forms, and turning towards achieving actual stability in Syria, for which there is no other way than a comprehensive political solution based on UNSC Resolution 2254. The political solution itself, which restores the unity of Syrians and Syria, restores the sovereignty of Syrians over their land and their decision, and expels all foreign forces from Syria, the first of which are the Zionists, is the actual gateway to transforming “turning East” from a flashy slogan into an actual reality.