Tuesday, August 18, 2015

China's Economic Diplomacy towards the Arab Countries: challenges ahead?

Degang Sun & Yahia H. Zoubir

Journal of Contemporary China Volume 24, Issue 95, 2015

Since the outbreak of the Arab revolts in late 2010, China has adhered to its ‘business-first’ economic diplomacy towards the Arab countries, a policy driven by China's ongoing geoeconomic interests. The ten-year-old China–Arab States Cooperation Forum serves as the nucleus for China's economic diplomacy in the region. The Chinese authorities have also initiated interagency coordination and central–local governments' power sharing in order to pursue this diplomacy successfully. However, while its economic diplomacy may be evolving, China, unlike what it has achieved in Black Africa, seems to have failed to develop strategic, political and cultural exchanges with its Arab counterparts. The intertwined geopolitical and geoeconomic factors that have emerged since the Arab revolts might make it harder for China to reap economic benefits while shelving political entanglement to sustain this economic diplomacy in the longer run.


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