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Does the Flurry of Chinese Mideast Diplomacy Point to a Shift in Policy and a Tilt-Away From Africa? 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian in Wuxi on Jan 14, 2022. Image via Xinhua.

The frenetic pace of Chinese diplomacy with Persian Gulf countries in 2022 is prompting widespread speculation that Beijing is placing a higher priority on its relations with Mideast countries, possibly at the expense of Africa.

Contrasting views on this issue emerged on Tuesday from two of the world’s foremost Chinese foreign policy scholars, Yun Sun at the Stimson Center in Washington and Professor Fan Hongda from the Shanghai International Studies University, widely regarded as China’s leading Mideast scholar:

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