War on the Rocks: ‘Negative Peace?’ China’s Approach to the Middle East
Wed September, 2020, Age: 3 years
Regional order in the Middle East is fragmenting, and China’s increasing economic and diplomatic ties to countries ranging from Israel to Saudi Arabia have further complicated the regional balance of power. China has historically paid little interest to the region, instead working to cement its power over neighboring states closer to home. Now, as the U.S.’ power in the region wanes, China has increased its economic and security commitments in the region, with some of its activities countering U.S. goals. Chinese sanctions-defying trade have helped prop up a beleaguered Iranian economy, and reports have indicated that China is helping Saudi Arabia to develop its nuclear program. Although Chinese interests in the Middle East are largely commercial, its increasing presence may push China to take a more active role in mediating between conflicts in the region.