中国 – 中东 / الصين – الشرق الأوسط / סין – מזרח תיכון
At a time when China’s global footprint is getting deeper and deeper, it has never been more important to understand its foreign policy. The Middle East is one of the world’s most consequential regions: home to major religions, diverse cultural and social heritage, central to global energy markets, and of course, geopolitics, linking people and markets in Asia, Africa and Europe. The podcast will feature conversations with academics, government leaders, and the policy community to provide insights into how China’s evolving role in the Middle East affects intra-regional development, trade, security, and diplomacy.
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Season 1 focuses on specific issues or countries, covering topics such as Chinese port and industrial park investments, China’s soft power initiatives in the region, among others. Subscribe to China-MENA Podcast on your favorite podcast platform to stay up-to-date with upcoming episodes, and do not forget to rate us and leave us a review.
Our pilot episode marks the launch of the China-MENA podcast, a monthly program that goes beyond the headlines to provide a deeper look at engagement between China and countries in the Middle East – North Africa and give our listeners a better understanding of an important emerging geopolitical shift. Listen here!
Episode 1: Sino-Iranian relations
Professor Anoushrivan Ehteshami joins us to discuss China and Iran relations and the state of the bilateral relationship, including the comprehensive strategic partnership the two countries finalized last spring, the possibility of Iranian membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and China’s role in the JCPOA. Listen here!
Episode 2: Chinese community building in the Middle East: Chinese in Dubai
Dr. Yuting Wang joins us to discuss Chinese Community Building in the Middle East, and how increased migration in recent decades has aided in the development of China-Gulf ties, with the UAE being one of the nations with a significant Chinese population. Dr. Wang will also explore the influence of Chinese communities in the UAE, and the social relationships between Chinese and locals. Listen here!
Episode 3: Chinese Soft Power Projection in MENA
In this episode, we are joined by Shaojin Chai, a professor of international relations at the University of Sharjah to discuss China’s cultural, educational, and religious outreach to the Middle East. Dr. Chai specializes in International Studies, Modern Chinese History, and Political Science. Listen here!
Episode 4: Chinese Multilateralism in MENA
In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Dawn Murphy to discuss China’s multilateral approaches and outreach to countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Dr. Murphy is an Associate Professor of International Security Studies with the Department of International Security Studies at the U.S. Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Listen here!
Episode 5: Chinese Tech in North Africa
In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Tin Hinane El Kadi to discuss Chinese Tech in North Africa, China’s attempt to dominate the digital space in North Africa via tech giants such as Huawei and Alibaba, and the Digital Silk Road. Dr. El Kadi is co-founder and co-director at the Institute for Social Science Research on Algeria (ISSRA) and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. Listen here!
Episode 6: China-GCC Relations
In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Mohammed Al-Sudairi to discuss China-GCC Relations in terms of people, culture and businesses, the political view of the GCC towards China, how the US-China competition narrative is received by GCC countries, and how people from the Gulf see China. Dr. Mohammed Al-Sudairi is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of Asian Studies Program at King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) located in Saudi Arabia. Listen here!
Episode 7: Managing US-China Competition – The View from Singapore
In this episode, we are joined by Ambassador Bilahari Kausikan, former ambassador and Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss the influence of the US-China Competition narrative on the Southeast Asia region and differences between the Indo-Pacific region and the Gulf in an era of US-China competition. Ambassador Bilahari and host Jonathan Fulton also discuss the differences between the Gulf region and the SEA region in terms of the people, culture, religion, and perspective in this geopolitical competition between the US and China. Moreover, Ambassador Bilahari states that the SEA region welcomes these extra-national powers within the region, as they help economic growth and maintain the balance of power in the region. Lastly, the Ambassador gives some advice to the Gulf countries regarding US-China geopolitics. Listen here!
Episode 8: China in MENA – An EU Perspective
In this episode, we are joined by Camille Lons, a research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), currently detached to Taipei, to discuss how Europeans see China as a rising global player in the geopolitics of the Middle East and North Africa and the world. Camille Lons and host Jonathan Fulton also discuss the EU’s response to the rising influence of China in MENA and the world; the areas where the EU and China can cooperate in the Middle East; how China’s growing presence in the region affects EU’s interests; the EU’s position in the US-China geopolitical competition, and China’s strong influence in MENA despite warnings and issues raised by Western allies, among other topics. Listen here!
Episode 9: Arab Barometer and Perceptions of China in MENA
In this episode, we are joined by Michael Robbins, Director and Co-Principal Investigator of Arab Barometer, to discuss the region’s perception of China based on the Arab Barometer’s surveys, and the different perspectives of the general public versus the elite—as the latter tends to be more favorable toward Beijing. Arab Barometer is a nonpartisan research network that provides insight into the social, political, and economic attitudes and values of ordinary citizens across the Arab world. In the show, Michael also explains the Arab Barometer, its purpose, and how they conduct surveys and collect data. Listen here!
Episode 10: China-Israel Relations
In this episode, we are joined by Brigadier General (Ret.) Assaf Orion, Director of the Diane & Guilford Glazer Israel-China Policy Center at the Institute For National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, to discuss the complex Sino-Israeli relationship, Israel’s perspective of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese-operated port of Haifa in Northern Israel, China’s meddling in Israeli domestic affairs and its role in the Israel-Palestine question, and Israel’s perspective on China grand strategy on MENA. Listen here!
Episode 11: China-Global South Relations
In this podcast’s episode, we are joined by Dr. Lina Benabdallah, a Wake Forest University assistant professor of politics and international affairs. Dr. Lina joins us to provide an overview of China’s influence in the Global South, as well as why China is viewed positively by African countries. She also discusses how China gained positive impressions from Africans and the global implications. Listen here!
Episode 12: China’s Vision for a New World Order
In this podcast’s episode, we are joined by Nadege Rolland, a distinguished fellow of China studies at The National Bureau of Asian Research. Nadege joins us to discuss China’s opposing view against the international order, the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative as alternatives to the western-led global order, China’s narrative to the world as a rising power in the geopolitical stage, and its control and strategy in maintaining power locally and globally. Listen here!
Episode 13: The Middle East in the US-India-China Strategic Triangle
In this episode, we are joined by Raja Mohan, Senior Fellow with the Asia Society Policy Institute in Delhi. Mr. Mohan joins us to discuss that in addition to China and the US, India also plays role in the geopolitical dynamics within the Middle East. Mr. Mohan will share with us his knowledge about India’s role in geopolitics in the Middle East as well as the perspective of New Delhi on the influence of the US-China tug-of-war within the region, and provide some insights about maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the growing influence of mixed cultures in the Gulf. Listen here!
Special episode: US Perceptions of China’s Middle East Presence
In this episode, we are joined by two esteemed guest from the US State Department: Dr. Julian Gewirtz, Deputy Coordinator for China Global Affairs, and Chris Backemeyer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Assistance Coordination and Regional and Multilateral Affairs, Bureau of Near East ern Affairs. Our guests provide unique insights from a US perspective on the potential implications of China’s growing presence in the Middle East. They examine the region’s strategic landscape and China’s efforts to replace US dominance in global governance and discuss the challenges and opportunities for cooperation between China and the US in the MENA region, as well as the priorities of the US in the Middle East. Tune in to gain a better understanding of how the US perceives and reacts to China’s evolving role in the region and how recent developments may shape the region’s future and US response. Listen here!