China’s Diplomatic Initiatives on the Palestinian Issue: Hollow words or concrete solutions?

Written by Yoram Evron. In May 2013, during the (separate) state visits in China of president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, China’s president Xi Jinping made a four-point proposal for settlement of the Palestinian question. About a year later, during the Gaza War, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi …

Firm for now: China’s support for the Oslo Accords

Written by Guy Burton. It has become common to hear talk about China as as global ‘rising power’ over the last 15 years. China has of course undergone substantial economic growth and development since the 1980s, and to sustain the trend it has required reliable trade flows and, in particular, reliable energy imports from the …

China and the Middle East: Embarking on a Strategic Approach

Written by James M. Dorsey. As the United States becomes embroiled in yet another military intervention in the Middle East, China is embarking on a long-term approach to the region that it hopes will secure its access to resources and trade, and enable cooperation with the US on Chinese terms. The approach takes as its …

Special Issue: China and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Much has been written in recent times about China’s growing interest and stake in the Middle East, and its potential involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although Beijing’s intentions are debatable and the exact nature of China’s involvement is hard to pin down, a number of pronouncements suggest that China may be a serious new actor …

China’s presence in the Middle East remains shallow

Written by Sophie Roborgh. Speculations abound about the increase of China’s footprint in the deserts, construction sites and negotiation rooms of the Middle East. However, despite signs of increased attention for the Middle East, the role of Beijing in the region should not be overstated. China’s involvement in the Middle East is generally attributed to …

Selling the “China Dream” in the Middle Eastern Quagmire

Written by Niv Horesh. China’s relatively quiet endorsement of Vladimir Putin’s stance during the recent Syrian crisis was noted with suspicion if not cynicism in the West. Many commentators suggested that China instinctively played the role of US foreign-policy spoiler again, thus turning a blind eye to the horrors of chemical warfare against civilians. Others …

Beyond the Oil: Sino-Iranian relations

Written by Majid Rafizadeh. It has been argued that the only reason China maintains robust political and economic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran—backing Iran directly or indirectly on its nuclear program or foreign and domestic policies in the United Nations and Security Council—is that China is the largest energy consumer in the world. Iran …

China and the Middle East: Adjusting to life after the Arab Spring

Written by P R Kumaraswamy. Historically the Middle East has been peripheral to China.  The end of the Sino-Soviet rivalry and China’s drive for energy security brought about certain nuanced changes in its policy towards the region, especially to the energy-rich Persian Gulf region. Despite periodic focus on people-to-people contacts, China’s policy has remained state-centric …

China’s posture on Syria: A direct challenge to US interests?

Written by Don Keyser. Former U.S. Secretary of State Clinton, addressing media following a February 24, 2012 “Friends of Syria” gathering in Tunis, emotionally blasted as “distressing” and “despicable” the February 5 Russian and Chinese vetoes in the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) blocking an Arab League-backed resolution calling upon President Assad to step down.[i] Beijing …

Sino-American Cooperation in the Middle East

Written by Kendrick Kuo. It sounds bizarre to talk about cooperation between the United States and China in the Middle East. Beijing’s ravenous appetite for energy has naturally led it to the Middle East, particularly the GCC states and Iran. There is little doubt that China has emerged as a player in the Middle East …