Thursday, June 22, 2017

China’s Plan for the Middle East

By Aleksandr Konovalov

FAIR OBSERVER • June 19, 2017 

China may be on the way to taking over America’s role as the key regional player in the Middle East.
The US missile strike on the Syrian regime’s airbase in Khan Shayrat, followed by an exchange of extreme rhetoric, led to a surge in commentary on US-Russia relations and the potential for cooperation between Washington and Moscow in tackling the Syrian crisis together. However, the civil war raging in Syria is only one of the many problems facing the Middle East, and one other major factor must be added into the analysis.
It has been a common trend among foreign policy experts, analysts and practitioners to approach geopolitics of the Middle East by taking into account only few major non-regional players. Since the 1950s, the two most important of them have been the United States and Russia (or the USSR). However, today, another non-regional actor should be added to the Middle Eastern equation: an actor of subtle yet global reach, with vital national interest in the region — the People’s Republic of China.