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Understanding the Middle East’s Unique Opportunities and Challenges for China

China's Special Envoy for the Middle East, Zhai Jun, meeting with Saudia Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir during a March 2022 visit to Riyadh. Image via the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

China is rapidly escalating its relationships with countries in the Middle East. However, the region still represents a tricky set of challenges for Beijing. So argues Andrea Ghiselli, a prominent watcher of China-Middle East relations at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Ghiselli writes that China’s recent flurry of Middle East diplomacy, which included numerous meetings by China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and special envoys, reveals perceptions in Beijing that American power is waning in the region. He points out that these perceptions are echoed by anxiety in Washington that China’s prominence in the region is growing.

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