China’s Deepening Strategic Engagement in the Middle East

In terms of energy (both fossil-based and green), geopolitics, geoeconomics, trade, finance, health and digital security, and media and soft power, China’s influence in the region has been growing in the past two decades.

In light of the recent visit to the Middle East by Wang Yi, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, this report aims to provide a comprehensive outline of China’s geopolitical and geoeconomic engagements in the region and how they are deepening. Traditionally, most analyses of Sino-Middle Eastern relations focus on the energy relations between the two sides. While the importance of energy (that is, security of supply for China and security of demand for the regional actors) is indisputable, the overall package of relations between the two sides can by no means be limited to the realm of energy security. For one thing, Middle Eastern actors are clearly betting on the rise of Asia/China and bracing themselves for that rise. In other words, they see China as the upcoming superpower and pivoting towards it.

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Energy, GCC, Trade, Sino-Middle Eastern Relations, Geoeconomics, Geopolitics

Iran between the US and China

Mohammadbagher Forough

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (The JCPOA) should be understood in the geopolitical context of Obama’s Pivot to Asia. Obama’s Pivot to Asia was meant to contain China and reduce the American involvement in the MENA region.