Gideon Elazar

Moving Westward: The Chinese Rebuilding of Syria

| December 5, 2017

As the Syrian civil war enters its final stages, China appears determined to take on a central role in Syria’s reconstruction. One factor motivating China’s involvement is the presence of a large number of Uighur jihadists among the anti-government forces. Another is the “One Belt-One Road” initiative – a planned attempt to establish and control a modern day Silk Road connecting China, the Middle East, and Europe. The increasingly active role China is playing in Syria might mark a shift in the geostrategic reality of the region. 

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China in the Red Sea: The Djibouti Naval Base and the Return of Admiral Zheng He

| August 23, 2017

Last month, the Chinese established their first-ever military-naval base outside the Asia-Pacific region, in Djibouti. The establishment of the base is an expression of the “Maritime Silk Road” policy intended to exert Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean and into the Mediterranean. The establishment of the Djibouti base also reflects Beijing’s recent celebration of Zheng He, the 15th century admiral, whose voyages in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean have come to symbolize Chinese power and a Chinese-led global order. 

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