Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

China Still Not Seen as a Serious Political Actor in the Middle East, Explains Top Sino-Mideast Scholar

Smoke billows from the area of an Israeli air strike on the southern Lebanese village of Marwahin near the border with Israel on March 16, 2024, amid ongoing cross-border tensions as fighting continues between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. AFP

With yet another Chinese envoy touring the Mideast, many people are scratching their heads, wondering what Beijing is trying to accomplish with its diplomacy in the region.

Many Arab and Gulf governments see the Chinese as “the new kid on the block” and aren’t really taken seriously by most stakeholders in the region as a credible diplomatic broker, explained Jonathan Fulton, an associate professor of political science at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, and someone who’s widely regarded among the world’s top China-Mideast scholars.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.