Chinese companies have emerged as Iraq’s largest investor in the oil and gas sector.
Before launching his war to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime, George Bush, the former US president, promised a strong independent Iraq.
Instead the country has become a bloody battleground for regional and international forces, not to mention al-Qaeda.
Today US, Israeli, Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Syrian forces compete to shape Iraq’s political landscape.
Sometimes this competition is fought with brute force and sometimes by proxy through Iraqi political parties and armed groups.
The prize is Iraq’s geopolitical value as a lynchpin of Gulf stability and its huge oil reserves.
While on the economic front, US companies have all but surrendered their quest to monopolise Iraq’s oil, Chinese companies have signed at least three deals in recent weeks, and have emerged as Iraq’s single largest investor in the oil and gas sector.
Concerned Iraqi nationalists condemn this interference but predict that Iraqi nationalism will eventually sweep away all this meddling.
We are joined by David Pollock, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and George Galloway, a former member of the British parliament.
This episode of Inside Iraq aired from Friday, June 11, 2010.