The red-green alliance…
The Chi-Coms are everywhere, on the move and are not our friends…
China in the Middle East: Reshaping Regional Politics
China has well and truly arrived in the Middle East. After years of relative passivity, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is now making a concerted effort to expand its strategic presence and economic clout in the region.
For Middle East nations, Beijing’s newfound drive for regional prominence is one of the most consequential—albeit least reported—trends of recent years. It holds the power to reshape regional markets as local governments increasingly reorient their economies to take advantage of Chinese outreach and largesse. But the proliferation of Chinese political and economic influence also increasingly threatens to upend longstanding regional security arrangements and fragment solidarity in the Islamic world. The spread of China’s model of technologically-empowered censorship, meanwhile, carries with it the potential to reinforce some of the worst political impulses of the region’s autocrats.
China’s invigorated regional agenda is as significant as it is sudden. Just a few years ago, Chinese engagement with the Middle East could be said to be confined to just two priorities. The first was the sale of arms to weapons-hungry client states in the region, most conspicuously the Islamic Republic of Iran. The second was the acquisition of regional energy resources to fuel the ongoing expansion of the Chinese economy.
No longer. The last several years have witnessed an explosion of Chinese interest in and involvement with the region.