China's uneasy balancing in the Persian Gulf
Source of Publication
Handbook of Middle East Politics
China has developed a deep presence on both sides of the Persian Gulf, having developed comprehensive strategic partnerships with Iran and its rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Many have interpreted this as neutrality from Beijing-judiciously avoiding picking sides in an intensely competitive region while deriving economic benefits from both sides. This chapter argues that rather than neutrality, China has been hedging, but has far greater interests on the Arabian side of the Gulf-which indicates that Beijing's preference for regional order is centered on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The chapter develops its argument by first analyzing the features of Gulf order as a Middle East subregion, and then examining China's regional role at different levels of analysis: in its relations with the GCC; how it navigates GCC-Iran competition; and how the Gulf features in US-China relations.
Edward Elgar Publishing
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Belt and Road Initiative, China, Gulf Cooperation Council, Iran, Middle East, Persian Gulf
Fulton, Jonathan, "China's uneasy balancing in the Persian Gulf" (2023). All Works. 6300.
Indexed in Scopus