China and Middle East relations have come a long way starting from strangers to being acquaintances. And then moving from a standstill in 1960s to recovering as a developed nation with all round diplomacy and reform policies. It was therefore in the year 1970, that the formal diplomatic relations between China and most of the Middle East countries were established. Since 1978, the relations between China and Middle East countries have also developed in a great manner. China has been seen adopting the policy of reform and even opening the idea to focus on economic development, modern culture and even advanced technology. China has even worked to secure its energy supply so that rapid development in the economy can take place and at the same time continuing relation with Middle East can also be secured peaceful (Scobell & Nader, 2016).
Question: How has President Xi Jingping change Chinese foreign policy toward the middle east?
As china is slowly becoming a world power today. More countries are turning to china, that includes middle eastern states, for help. China’s foreign policy is unlike what we have seen in previous Chinese presidents. China is an important ally to middle eastern states because of these states are enemies of the United States so they turn to China. The Middle East is an important ally to China because is one of the largest importer of Middle Eastern energy. Today, we see the most activity between China and the Middle East ever. This paper will add to previous studies by showing the importance of these relations. It will show that both regions are great allies to one another. It will show that China’s foreign policy towards the middle east is the most active it has been, since President Xi Jingping was elected.
The importance of the process:
The importance of this paper is that it will benefit policy makers in the middle east and most importantly in Qatar. Since relations between Qatar and china has increase ever since President Xi Jingping was elected. This paper will be helpful to show decision makers in Qatar, Chinese foreign policy towards the middle east because it will show China’s interests in the Middle East. This will helpful in understanding China’s motives.
The literature review presents an assessment of research available on impacts of Xi Jinping’s administration on Chinese foreign policy towards the Middle East. The main concerns appraised in this literature review include China economic interest in Arab world, international security as well as Chinese rivalry with the US government. Evaluations the theoretical literature and research gap are presented in this section.
Tao (2017) analyses the Chinese overseas policy with Xi Jinping administration characteristics. President Xi Jinping on his statement to the 19th Chinese communist party national congress acknowledged that socialism with Chinese features has led to a new period. Tao (2017) base the research’s argument on this statement declared by the president. The investigator realized that no Chinese leader, contemporary or ancient had captivated so many external administrators to the Middle East region more than Xi. In five years today, Xi has hosted important conferences in the Middle East region which are the G20 Hangzhou conference, the Asia-Pacific economic cooperation meeting, summit on confidence-building measures and interaction in Asia, the 9th BRICS talks and the road and belt forum for global cooperation (Tao, 2017). Additional, on 33rd September 2015, thirty states administrators and governments assembled in Beijing to observe an extraordinary military procession which honoured the 17th anniversary of conquest against Japan during World War II. Since 2013, Xi has logged 28 foreign journeys which have enabled him to interact with 56 nations globally as well as headquarters of main regional and international firms (Tao, 2017). According to the investigator, the Middle East nations have realized various economic development during the administration of Xi (Tao, 2017). In Xi’s government, Beijing has started the Silk Road project, the new expansion bank as well as the Asian structure venture bank. These three mutual financial institutions have a total authorized capital of 200 billion US dollars (Tao, 2017). Also, Xi initiated the Road and Belt initiative aimed at advancing connectivity across the vast Eurasian region. From Tao (2017) description, the Chinese government has invested in the Arab world with the aim of gaining economically. The summits and projects initiated by Xi administration are measures placed to influence the trade and economic matters in the Middle East.
Al-Sudairi (2016) conducts an investigation on influences of Saudi on the growth of Hui Salafism in China. The study tries to give a broad comprehension of the relation between Chinese Salafism and Saudi Arabia. The researcher traces that regarding ancient tactic, the manner in which Wahhabi impacts customary, financial and doctrinal have diffused into China ever since the dawn of 19th century. The assessment is centred on the channels that had developed after the 1970s and which have stimulated the dissemination of impacts such as preachers working in China, effects of the Chinese-Saudi movement, the labour of Saudi society and the Hajj (Al-Sudairi, 2016 ). According to Al-Sudairi (2016), these impacts have resulted in strengthening of Solarisation trends in the Muslim-Chinese community as well as escalating fragmented pressures in Chinese Salafism (Al-Sudairi, 2016 ). The investigation indicates the significant economic interest of the Chinese government in the Arab region. China has put efforts to strengthen its relations with Saudi Arabians to venture and invest in this Arab country.
Zhang (2015) studies the Chinese new policy under Xi Jinping government. The study traces that since the inauguration of Xi as the Chinese leader, there have been remarkable variations in the nation’s foreign policy. Under Xi administration, Beijing has become more assertive in global matters. The investigator argues that the contemporary Chinese global behaviour is the display of a fresh chapter of the country’s external strategy which could be described as diplomatic rise 2.0 (Zhang, 2015). While Beijing adheres to its stated peaceful progression strategy focussing on maintaining a stable exterior environment, how it seeks to achieve this target are significantly different from previous years. However, regardless of China’s increasing influence, Xi encounters more challenges than his precursor in matters to do with external plans (Zhang, 2015).
Ferdinand (2016) argues that the Chinese local politics and overseas policy has changed significantly under Xi Jinping administration. Locally, Xi rule has encouraged the notion of the China-dream actively to reinstate enthusiasm and sanguinity about the nation’s future, mainly among young individuals (Ferdinand, 2016). On the other hand, Xi regime has pursued to distinguish the communist China vision from any likeness of the American delusion. President Xi Jinping stresses on making China powerful and great again. While the Chinese have hunted a more vigorous strategy in the South China waters, they have initiated two extremely ambitious schemes to extend maritime and land transport connection between China and Europe (Ferdinand, 2016). The primary reason why China is creating a strong bond with Europe is to counterbalance any possible rival associations with the United States.
Fallon (2015) evaluates the novel Silk Way that is the Jinping’s major plan for Eurasia. President Jinping’s external strategic plan can be categorized as nothing short of reviewing the present geopolitical setting. Jinping’s publication of the innovative Silk Highway fiscal belt, as well as 21st century nautical Silk Highway, lays a visualization that will benefit over 4 billion individuals (Fallon, 2015). Xi’s aspiring creativity has three elements which are security, markets, and energy. These three factors will weave in unison to establish reliable interrelated transportation passages and harbour amenities which will improve international security, enhance commerce and assist tactical penetration (Fallon, 2015).
Yetiv and Chunlong (2007) assess on China, global energy, and the Middle East. The assessment traces that China has actively improved its interest and stand in the Persian Bay area over the last two decades, implying it a vital region in local dynamic forces. Reliable information indicates that the Persian Gulf region has extended and led to sales of arms as well as stronger economic ties (Yetiv and Chulong, 2007). China increasing influence in the area has put Washington and Beijing at odds and could result in severe friction points in the future (Yetiv and Chulong, 2007). The researchers, however, conclude by stating that policy recommendations are structured to prevent such frictions.
Bellin (2012) presents an argument on authoritarianism and robustness in the Middle East. The investigator argues that the experiences on Arab spring have suggested the importance of revisiting the rationality of authoritarian persistence in the Arab region. Nevertheless, the internal differences in administrations collapse and survival observed in the area asserts that style of the forced apparatus is pivotal to determining the stability of authoritarian governments. Xi’s administrations have provided the Arab nations with enough awareness of authoritarianism and robustness regimes with an effort to help them choose right leaders. Further, the researcher states that the route of the Arab spring highlights experiential originalities for the Arab region (Bellin, 2012). These empirical originalities include manifestation of cross-class, popular protest and materialization of social media.
China Rivalry with the US
Sun and Zoubir (2013) present a study on Chinese reaction to the rebellions in the Arab area. According to Sun and Zoubir (2013), China reply to the Arab revolutions shows its rational peacekeeping in the Middle East. From the viewpoint of China-USA-MENA relationship, Chinese administration has observed the revolt as an addition of the nation’s premeditated prospect for its fiscal and governmental development overseas in the last 20 years (Sun and Zoubir, 2014 ). The Xi government has used various tactics to prevent any single nation mainly the US from controlling MENA concerns. Some of these techniques include assimilating diplomatic measures, executing constructive intervention, smart economic assistance and quasi-alliance policy (Sun and Zoubir, 2014 ).
Garver (2016) gathered some evidence on the merging partnership post-sanctions of China and Iran. According to this researcher, Chinese and American interests widely converge in matters to do with Saudi Arabia and Iran. Washington, like Beijing strives for supportive connections with both Tehran and Riyadh. Washington and Beijing worked together efficiently in bringing Tehran to an agreement with the global community over its nuclear initiatives (Garver, 2016 ). The two now are likely to unite in resolving Riyadh and Tehran disagreements which will end the Syrian civil war (Garver, 2016 ).
Global relationships in Asia are experiencing fundamental variations, and the development of China is the primary regional player. Shambaugh of Washington records Chinese current economic, military and diplomatic successes in embracing its regional position. According to Shambaugh (2005), contrary to critics who observe China’s geographical progression with profound doubt, there is enough evidence that many Asian countries regard China as a non-threatening, constructive and good neighbour. The researcher asserts that China’s international reputation has never been good despite positive recognition by fellow Asian nations. Shambaugh (2005) states that China is developing impact and regional strength has no intentions to eliminate the impact and power of the US in Asia. To counter the growing Chinese strength, the United States, as well as other prominent economies in Asia such as Japan and India, will endure participating in the stabilization of this region (Shambaugh, 2005 ).
The review of the literature has shown remarkable Chinese influence in the Middle East region. For the last five years of administration, Xi Jinping’s government has been able to captivate numerous global leaders to the Aran world. The Chinese government has held several summits in the Middle East region which have been aimed at bringing integration and enhancing trade between China and the Arabs. Jinping has established various initiatives which are centred on infrastructure and transportation. President Jinping has also collaborated and initiated multiple projects within Europe. The assessment has depicted that the Chinese and Americans usually conflict and compete for influence in the Arab world. However, the two nations have collaborated in bringing Tehran to a treaty with the international society over its nuclear initiatives.
President Xi Jingping does effect the Chinese foreign policy towards the Middle East.
• The more China engages in international security, the greater it is interested in the Middle East.
• As rivalry with the United States increases, the more that China is trying to be a major player in the Middle East.
• To protect its economic power, china is seeking to strengthen and ensure its relations with the Middle East.