A quiet shift in geopolitics has been taking place, with East Asia and the Middle East drawing closer together. Energy trade explains part of this, as Japan, South Korea, and China are consistently among the largest export markets for Middle East oil and gas. In the case of China, the relationships have moved beyond economic interests to incorporate strategic concerns as well. The Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East report has released a new report by Dr. Jonathan Fulton on this subject: “China’s Changing Role in the Middle East.” The report analyzes China’s presence in the Middle East, examines the response of Middle Eastern states, and explores how US-China competition plays out in the region: are their interests compatible, creating opportunities for cooperation, or do they diverge to the point that competition is the most likely outcome?
Watch the event
In-Depth Research & Reports Aug 25, 2020
Strangers to strategic partners: Thirty years of Sino-Saudi relations
By Jonathan Fulton
This report begins with a brief historical overview of Sino-Saudi relations, it then discusses how the partnership has developed, and ends with an analysis of the bi- lateral relationship within the context of the US-Sino-Saudi triangle.
IranSource Jun 9, 2020
Will China become a major arms supplier to Iran?
By Jonathan Fulton
By becoming a major arms supplier to Iran, Beijing would unnecessarily antagonize the United States and alienate several Iranian rivals across the Middle East, many of which are also strategic partners for China.
New Atlanticist Jun 6, 2019
Can the United States and China cooperate in the Middle East?
By David A. Wemer
While the United States and China grapple over trade, intellectual property rights, technology transfer, and geopolitical tensions in East Asia, open competition has not yet extended to the Middle East, a region where Washington remains a major player and Beijing has rapidly expanded its influence.