Chinese Footprint in the Middle East: Motivations and Strategic Priorities
Author : Nur Ahmed
30 Apr 2023

China's recent success in facilitating talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, along with ongoing negotiations and proposed summits, signals the country's interest in promoting stability in the Middle East. This marks the first high-profile instance of China mediating conflict resolution between major regional rivals on a global scale. And the focus has been on such a region that has been marred by decades of conflicts often exacerbated by external intervention. The talks demonstrate that Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries see China as capable of playing a constructive role in resolving regional disputes, given their growing interest in China's role in the region. While China's recent activities in the Middle East have gained greater visibility, it is important to consider them in the context of China's longstanding diplomatic relationship-building in the region. What is unique is China's willingness to publicize its efforts and potentially challenge the United States sphere of allied partners.