China Global

China and the Middle East

Episode Summary

In early December, Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled to Saudi Arabia for a three-day trip, his first to the country since 2016. Xi met with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Kingdom, which promises to usher in a “new era” of China-Saudi relations. Xi also held a summit with six Gulf Cooperation Council countries and a China-Arab States Summit with leaders from 21 countries of the Arab League. To discuss Xi’s visit and China’s policy towards the Middle East and North Africa, host Bonnie Glaser speaks with Dr. Jonathan Fulton, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and the host of the China-MENA Podcast.

Episode Notes

[01:34] China’s Interests in the Middle East

[03:25] Chinese Engagement During the Past Decade

[05:54] Xi’s Trip to Saudi Arabia

[08:22] Security and the Sino-Middle Eastern Relationships

[11:05] Role of Multilateral Institutions

[14:09] Perceptions of Huawei

[18:12] Perceptions of Xinjiang

[22:39] The Sino-Iranian Relationship

[26:24] China’s Role in Conflicts