What Xi’s Visit to Tehran Says About Beijing’s Middle East Agenda—and China’s Grand Strategy

Written By Flynt Leverett. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia last month largely succeeded at realizing its designers’ most immediate goal: highlighting China’s rise as an important strategic as well as economic reference point for states across the Middle East. Chinese commentators note that Xi is the only major power …

The Belt and Road and Suez Canal: China-Egypt Relations Under Xi Jinping

Written by Shannon Tiezzi. Sandwiched between his stops in Saudi Arabia and Iran, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Egypt was somewhat overlooked as part of his first trip to the Middle East. Yet the China-Egypt relationship will be one to watch carefully over the next decade. Like Saudi Arabia, Egypt is a traditional U.S. …

China’s evolving policy toward the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Written by Manochehr Dorraj. China’s general policy toward the Middle East under Mao was preoccupied with isolating Taiwan and garnering support for the recognition of People’s Republic. China’s policy toward Palestinian-Israeli conflict was marked by a strong rhetorical support for the Palestinian cause. This was in accordance with China’s general support for the national liberation …

China’s Dilemma in the Conflict: Populism or Historicism?

Written by Harry Chen. Last year, while researching a feature article at the China Daily in Beijing, I stumbled across a unique-sounding institute which, as it turned out, was located just across my newsroom on a college campus. My fresh understanding on China’s roles in Israel and Palestine starts there. Days after the inauguration of the Chinese …

Signal Left – Turn Right: Changing Chinese Attitudes towards the Palestinians

Written by Yitzhak Shichor. A few years ago I was talking in Jerusalem with two visiting researchers from the China Institute of International Studies (China’s Foreign Ministry research organ), saying that by promoting Palestinian independence Beijing undermines its own policy that denies the same right to China’s Uyghurs and Tibetans. No, they told me, you …

China’s investment in Israel’s technology sector

Written by Sharone Tobias. Beijing’s focus on technological independence, sovereignty, and development as a core national security concern stretches back decades. Since his inauguration in 2012, Xi Jinping has renewed focus on technology as a means to greater economic development, national security, and Chinese power worldwide. Among Xi’s new initiatives is the Small Leading Group …

China’s attraction to “the cemetery of the great powers”

Written by Meron Medzini. A Chinese diplomat is reported to have claimed that the Middle East is the cemetery of the great powers. The implication being that China should avoid at all costs being drawn into the seemingly endless Arab-Israel conflict and specifically the Israel-Palestinian imbroglio. However, given China’s growing dependence on imported oil, mainly from …

A positive role for China in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Written by Yiyi Chen. In 1954, leaders of China, India and Myanmar initiated Five Principles for handling international relations. These are mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. Since then China has been a strict practitioner of the non-interference principle …

What drives China’s interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Written by Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat. In recent years, China has shown greater interest in exerting influence in the Middle East. In mid 2013, for example, Beijing invited both Palestinian and Israeli leaders for separate meetings to discuss the resumption of the Arab-Israeli peace process. In this meeting, Chinese leader Xi Jinping revealed his four-point peace proposal …

China’s interests in preserving the Israeli-Palestinian impasse

Written by Robert R. Bianchi. As China acquires growing influence in the Middle East, it is inevitably drawn toward involvement in the region’s many conflicts, including long-festering disputes between Israelis and Palestinians. If and when China becomes more engaged in Middle East diplomacy, it probably stands to benefit whether Israeli-Palestinian relations improve or deteriorate, so …