China's Diversifying Interests in the Middle East

Policy brief

Koning, Jens (2023) China's Diversifying Interests in the Middle East, MidEast Policy Brief, 5. Oslo: PRIO.

In late 2021, power outages in China prompted energy quotas, which impacted economic growth and challenged the country’s image as a reliable manufacturing base. Unlike the energy-independent United States (US), China depends heavily on imports of Middle Eastern hydrocarbons. To ensure energy security – vital for economic stability and military preparedness – China engages with the Middle East, balancing ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Against a backdrop of intensifying rivalry with the US, the country is diversifying its approach to regional engagement, focusing on trade, infrastructure, technology and diplomacy through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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