Please join the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative and the Global China Hub on Wednesday, January 26, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am ET, for an event on China’s evolving role in the Middle East and how it affects intra-regional development, trade, security, and diplomacy. The event will mark the launch of Routledge Handbook on China–Middle East Relations, edited by Jonathan Fulton,  nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. To purchase the book, please click here.

Currently, China is the most significant extra-regional economic actor, the biggest source of foreign direct investment into the region, and the largest trading partner for several countries in the Middle East. This portends a larger role in political and security affairs, as the value of Chinese assets combined with a growing expatriate population in the region demands a more proactive role in contributing to regional order.

To receive the Zoom link, please complete the registration form below.


Jonathan Fulton

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Middle East Programs
Atlantic Council
Assistant Professor of Political Science in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

An expert on Chinese policy toward the Middle East, Fulton has written widely on the topic for both academic and popular publications. He is the author of China’s Relations with the Gulf Monarchies and co-editor of External Powers and the Gulf Monarchies. Fulton received his PhD from the University of Leicester, where his dissertation focused on Chinese relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council member states. He also holds degrees from Staffordshire University, the University of Southern Queensland, and Dalhousie University.

Lina Benabdallah

Assistant Professor
Wake Forest University

Lina Benabdallah is an assistant professor of Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University. Her current book project examines China’s multilateral foreign policy in continental Africa and seeks to theorize the power dynamics within the seemingly equal Global South diplomatic relations. Her fieldwork research areas include China, Ethiopia, and Kenya. At Wake Forest, she teaches courses in international relations, African Studies, and international studies. Lina received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

Shaojin Chai

Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations
University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Shaojin Chai attended college in Beijing before he received his Ph.D. in comparative political theory from the University of Notre Dame, USA. Prior to his role at the University of Sharjah, he was a senior research fellow at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development in Dubai, UAE. He has taught and given public lectures across universities in the UAE such as Zayed University and in China at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. His research interests include comparative political theory, global ethics, Arab-China cultural relations, and Islam in China.

Moderated by

David O. Shullman

Senior Director, Global China Hub
Atlantic Council

David O. Shullman is senior director of the Global China Hub at the Atlantic Council, where he leads the council’s work on China. David’s own research focuses on China’s foreign policy and grand strategy, US-China relations, China-Russia relations, and the implications of China’s rise for global order and the future of democracy. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, David was Senior Advisor at the International Republican Institute, where he oversaw the Institute’s work building the resilience of democratic governments and institutions around the world against the influence of China, Russia, and other autocracies. David served for nearly a dozen years as one of the US Government’s top experts on East Asia, most recently as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for East Asia on the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Middle East Programs

Through our Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, the Atlantic Council works with allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.

Global China Hub

The Global China Hub researches and devises allied solutions to the global challenges posed by China’s rise, leveraging and amplifying the Atlantic Council’s work on China across its 14 other programs and centers.

Podcast series

Listen to the latest episode of the China-MENA podcast, featuring conversations with academics, government leaders, and the policy community on China’s role in the Middle East.