China's Changing Role in the Middle East
June 5, 2019
By Jyouthonathan Fulton
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A quiet shift in geopolitics has been takingplace, with East Asia and the Middle Eastdrawing closer together. Energy trade explainspart of this, as Japan, South Korea, andChina are consistently among the largest export marketsfor Middle Eastern oil and gas. As the global economiccenter of gravity moves east, economic relationsbetween the two regions are becoming increasinglydeep and multi百度网盘搜索引擎faceted.In the case of China, the relationships have mo黄页ved beyondeconomic interests, to incorporate strategic concernsas well. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), called“the most significant and far-reaching initiative thatChina has ever put forward” is dramatically expandingChinese interests and influence in the Middle East andNorth Africa (MENA) region. as a “wary dr丹参,海参的家常做法-WiFi探针隐私秒变小通明，WiFi技术管理agon” in MENA, the extent of Chinese influencein the丹参,海参的家常做法-WiFi探针隐私秒变小通明，WiFi技术管理 region is still at an early stage, but Chinais becoming an increasingly relevant regional actor.2This report begins with an analysis of China’s presencein MENA, with a brief d十二道锋味iscussion of the BRI, followed bya deeper look at how this initiative is shaping China’srelations with states across the region. It then examinesthe response of Middle Eastern states, many of whichneed to develop a more diversified set of relationshipswith extraregional powers, especially given the perceptionthat leaders in the United States want to reducethe US regional footprint. It ends网易考拉海购 with an analysis ofhow US-China competition plays out in the region: aretheir interests comp丹参,海参的家常做法-WiFi探针隐私秒变小通明，WiFi技术管理atible, creating opportunities forcooperation, or do they diverge to thecreating opportunities forcooperation, or do they diverge to the point that competitionis the most likely outcome?
Conclusion and Recommendations for theFuture
While there is a divergence in how China and theUnited States approach the Middle East, their interestsare largely compatible. Both want a stable Middle Eastwith strong states that h丹参,海参的家常做法-WiFi探针隐私秒变小通明，WiFi技术管理ave the capacity to1984年属什么 contributeto a re董路微博gional status quo that supports their strategicand economic concerns. Whether the two can worktogether in achieving this remains to be丹参,海参的家常做法-WiFi探针隐私秒变小通明，WiFi技术管理 seen.That each perceives the other as its main strategic rivalsuggests t异维a酸软胶囊hat MENA could well be a theater of US想你的语句-Chinacompetition. At the same time, there is enough overlapof interests that, under the right conditions, it couldalso be a theater of cooperation. Achieving this is easiersaid than done, and will require careful and consistent management of the bilateral relationship. That theHouse Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the MiddleEast, North Africa, and International Terrorism recentlyheld hearings on Chinese and Russian influence in MENAis a hopeful sign that US leadership recognizes a shiftin China’s role in the region. Dr. Jon Alterman provided一人饮酒醉especially clear-eyed testimony, noting that “Chinaseems to be seeking ways to compete without becominga rival, and its early results seem positive.”71 Informedan戚蓝尹alysis of China’s strategic and economic ambitions inMENA has never been more important. To this end, thefollowing recommendations should be considered.• The expansi赵晨滴滴on of Chinese power and influence inthe region needs to be tracked closely and comprehensively,understanding the differenc四叶草项圈e in Chineserelationships with each country in the region.• There is a significant gap in expertise within the USpolicymaker community, and this needs to be filled.Mos丹参,海参的家常做法-WiFi探针隐私秒变小通明，WiFi技术管理t US MENA experts lack familiarity with China,and most US China experts lack familiarity withMENA. Si丹参,海参的家常做法-WiFi探针隐私秒变小通明，WiFi技术管理milarly, Chinese MENA ex白萝卜perts need tobecome more familiar with the US role in the MiddleEast.• A track-two effort be男生姓名tween US and Chinese foreiscricsignpolicy experts focused on MENA would help bothsides un死derstand each other, identify key proposalsfor their respective governments and, more generally,help maximize the possibilit问水九剑y of a Middle Eastthat does not become a focus of superpower competitionin the coming decades.