How China is winning the Middle East (Defense One)


    How China is winning the Middle East – By Kevin Nguyen and Peter W Singer (Defense One) / Jan 19, 2024

    China is working to present itself as a responsible alternative to the U.S. in the Middle East, just as many are questioning Washington’s long-term commitment to the region.

    Amid the recent catastrophes in the Middle East—the renewed Israel-Hamas war; widening violence in Lebanon, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea—one player counts the past year a success: China.

    Beijing stacked up strategic win after win, not just expanding its economic presence, but convening leadership summits, brokering peace deals, and even holding a joint military training exercise with one of the U.S.’s most important allies in the region. While shifts in power and influence often become evident only after the fact, history could one day look back on 2023 as the year that China truly began to win the Middle East.

    It is easy to see why states in the Middle East have sought closer ties with China. Collaborating with a military powerhouse that is not Washington helps them shed U.S. dependency—a goal that even close allies like the UAE have expressed repeatedly in the past decade.

    But what are China’s goals? A look at Chinese sources reveals efforts in the political, economic, diplomatic, and military realms.



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