Topic:

China

China’s Military Base in Djibouti

| August 23, 2018

Following decades of non-intervention policy in the MENA region, China is now establishing a permanent military base in Djibouti. This study analyzes the motivation behind China’s decision to establish a permanent naval presence in Djibouti, and whether it reflects a fundamental change in its non-interference policy in the MENA region. The findings show that geo-economic interests are the primary consideration in China’s decision, but there are also strategic military purposes. China’s non-interference policy in the MENA is evolving, and establishing a regional military presence seems to be taking a further significant step, showing a clear departure from its traditional interpretations of non-interference. Consequently, the Djibouti naval base may be just the beginning of China’s military expression of power in the MENA region.

The Rise of Chinese Eurasianism

| August 19, 2018

Chinese Eurasianism, which – if the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is successful – will give Beijing new foreign policy tools to use against Washington, could prove more threatening to the US in the long run than the USSR was during the Cold War.

China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative

| July 22, 2018

The Mediterranean Sea, one of the most important maritime trade highways in the world, is the marine traffic hub at the western end of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Beijing’s maritime strategic activities in the Mediterranean consist mainly of constructing and operating ports and railways to open up new trade links between China and the Eurasia-Africa zone. However, the implementation of a Chinese Maritime Silk Road via the Mediterranean cannot succeed unless there is a way to bridge the gap between economic interests and the capacity to protect those interests.

The China-US Confrontation: A Russian View

| July 4, 2018

China and the US have different geopolitical imperatives, so tensions are bound to increase between the two powers. Russia’s position in the nascent confrontation will be important to watch, as it is simultaneously under pressure from the West and in the shadow of Chinese economic strength. Russia will likely see US-China competition as providing an opportunity to improve its own geopolitical position.

India and China Are Converging on Afghanistan

| June 7, 2018

The “informal summit” between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in China in late April generated worldwide interest. Aimed at sidestepping contentious issues and enhancing greater strategic communication at the leadership level, the summit witnessed the two leaders recognizing the “common threat” of terrorism and expressing commitment to cooperate on counter-terrorist measures. However, an issue that largely escaped attention is an agreement between them to work jointly on economic projects in Afghanistan. This has been interpreted as Beijing’s message to Islamabad that China “approves” India’s positive role in stabilizing Afghanistan, a fact already recognized by the Trump administration in its new Afghan policy.

China Is Treading a Fine Line in Iran

| May 18, 2018

Now that Donald Trump has exited the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran, there is more at stake for the other signatories than either their belief in the deal’s virtues or their eagerness to salvage economic opportunities. Maintaining the deal without the US would deliver a severe blow to American credibility and perceptions of US power. China has long experience circumventing sanctions regimes, but the environment surrounding the reimposed sanctions is likely to be unusually confrontational.

China’s Role in a Nuclear Middle East

| May 7, 2018

The US president’s threats that the Iranian nuclear agreement has to be reevaluated, and Saudi Arabia’s intention to continue the quest for nuclear capabilities if Iran persists in its efforts, are of great concern to the international powers. Here we examine possible responses of China to these issues.

Who Will Reconstruct Syria?

| February 25, 2018

The fighting in Syria, which began in 2011, between President Bashar Assad and the opposition forces, seems to have reached its final stages. It is almost certain that Assad will remain in power. He will be the one to lead Syria in the coming years, and he will have to deal with the reconstruction of the ravaged country. In the interests of the Syrian people as well as the West, including Israel, it is wise to support China in its efforts to lead the reconstruction.

Why Didn’t Chinese Investment Ease Ethnic Tensions in Xinjiang?

| February 23, 2018

The assumption that economic investment aimed at increasing modernization and raising standards of living will weaken ethnic identity and strengthen a minority’s sense of belonging has been disproven in the case of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR) in western China. Uyghur nationalism is increasing despite significant economic investment by the Chinese government, raising questions about the effectiveness of economic development programs designed to close gaps and diminish polarization between different groups.

Chinese-Palestinian Relations: What’s Really Going On?

| February 6, 2018

On December 23, 2017, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi observed that “it’s been seventy years since the UN adopted the decision to create a Palestinian state, but seventy years later, a Palestinian state is yet to be created.” Other Chinese voices in recent years have made similar statements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Why the Chinese preoccupation with this issue? Perhaps because words and gestures allow Beijing to show involvement while avoiding intervention.