Main Article Content

Hussain Abbas
Bilal Habib
Ronaque Ali Behan


China has had historical relations with MENA region, though selective and limited to economic needs and interests. China’s foreign policy and economic diplomacy activism under Xi Jinping has ushered a new era of multidirectional engagement. China’s rise has made it a major actor of the international politics that has now global interests and role. This newly founded engagement in the MENA is mainly based on the Chinese compulsions of maintaining stability in the region. It includes ensuring the undisrupted supplies of energy vital for Chinese economic growth, desire of the regional partner for more financial and developmental investment. This paper endeavours to explore the recent engagement of China in the MENA region. It defines its new partnership discourse and initiatives under the Xi Jinping rule. It explains the nature, dynamics and Challenges to the Chinese ambitions and interests in the region. It concludes that China under Xi has a vision and policy to comprehensively establish relationship with the regional states on bilateral and multilateral levels but challenges to its role in the region loom large. Unless until it manages these challenges, there would be a question mark on the fulfilment of MENA dream

Article Details



Alterman, J. B. (2013). China’s Balancing Act in the Gulf. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved from
Alterman, J. B. (2019). Middle East Notes and Comment: China’s Middle East Model. Middle East Institute. Retrieved from
Calabrese, J. (2020). Towering Ambitions: Egypt and China Building for the Future. Middle East Institute.
Chaziza, M. (2020a). China’s partnership diplomacy and the successful implementation of the BRI. Asia Dialogue.
Chaziza, M. (2020b). Geopolitical and Geo-economics Challenges to China’sSilk Road Strategy in the Middle East. Middle East Institute.
102China’s Engagement with Mena Region under
XI Jinping: Trends & ChallengesChina deploys new missile destroyer, frigate in its anti-piracy fleet. (2019). The Economic Times.
Corruption Perceptions Index 2019. (2019). Transprancy International.
Fassihi, F., & Myers, S. L. (2020). Defying U.S., China and Iran Near Trade and Military Partnership. The New York Times., L. (2017). The Security Challenges of the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative and China’s Choices. Croatian International
Relations Review, XVIII(510), 2017.
Houlden, G. /, & Zaamount, N. M. (2019). China’s Middle East Balancing Approach.Humeyra, P., & Mohammed, A. (2020). U.S. renews sanctions waivers allowing Iran nonproliferation work. Reuters.
DJeong-ho, L. (2019). China scales back Iran nuclear cooperation ‘due to fears of US sanctions. South China Morning Post.,
L. (2017). China’s Role in the Middle East: Current Debates and Future Trends. China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies, 05(01), 39–55.
Jingping, X. (2014). The Governance of China. Foreign Languages Press.Jinping, X. (2014). China’s Xi pledges to ‘fight corruption’ at Belt and Road summit. Foreign Language Press.
Asia Pacific, Research Journal, Volume 39, 2021103
Jinping, X. (2019). China’s Xi pledges to ‘fight corruption’ at Belt and Road summit. Al Jazeera., H. A. S. (2020). Middle East Geopolitics and China-India Strategic Interaction in the New Era. Https://Doi.Org/10.1080/25765949.2020.1760541, 14(2), 179–193.
Lei Wang. (2017). Why 65 countries refuse to condemn US over Jerusalem. CGTN.
Liangxiang. Jin. (2020). China and Middle East Security Issues: Challenges, Perceptions and Positions. AI Istituto Affari Internazionali.,
C., Fulton, J., Sun,D., & Al-Tamimi, N. (2019). China’s great game in the Middle East. European Council on Foreign Relations.
Lons, C., Fulton, J., Sun, D., & Al-Tamimi. (2019). China’s great game in the Middle East. European Council on Foreign Relations.
Marks, J. (2020). China’s Pursuit of a “Strategic Fulcrum” in the Middle East. Middle East Institute.
Gurk, B. (2019). China’s Risky Middle East Bet. The Atlantic.
Ming, L. (2020). China’s BRI in the Middle East: Dynamics, New Developments and Challenges | ISPI. Italian Institute for International Political Studies.
China’s Engagement with Mena Region under XI Jinping: Trends & Challenges/en/publication/chinas-bri-middle-east-dynamics-new-developments-and-challenges-24947Mirza,
M. N., Abbas, H., & Qaisrani, I. H. (2021). Structural Sources of Saudi–Iran Rivalry and Competition for the Sphere of Influence: Https://Doi.Org/10.1177/21582440211032642, 11(3).
Mohseni-Cheraghlou, A. (2021). MENA at the center of the West: China’s “opening up to the West” strategy. Middle East Institute.
Nyabiage, J. (2020). China welcomes ‘encouraging developments’ in South Sudan as rivals form unity government. South China Morning Post.
Qiblawi, T. (2019). Muslim nations are defending China as it cracks down on Muslims, shattering any myths of Islamic solidarity. CNN.
Reporter, S. (2021). Mena gears up for unveiling of 100 most powerful icons in $1trillion retail industry. Khaleej Times.
Riadel, B. (2020). Saudi Arabia’s relations with China: Functional, but not strategic. Brookings.
Saleh, A., & Yazdanshenas, Z. (2020). Iran and China Have Signed a Strategic Pact. That’s Bad News for the West. Foreign Policy.
Asia Pacific, Research Journal, Volume 39, 2021105
Scobell, A., & Nader, A. (2017). China in the Middle East: The Wary Dragon. In RAND Coperation. RAND Corporation.
Smith, D. (2014). China to send 700 combat troops to South Sudan. The Guardian.
Staff, R. (2018). China’s Xi pledges $20 billion in loans to revive Middle East. Reuters.
Staff, T. (2017). China pushes four-point Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. The Times of Isreal.
Sun, D., & Zoubir, Y. (2014). China-Arab States Strategic Partnership: Myth or Reality? Journal of Middle Easternand Islamic Studies (in Asia), 8(3), 70–101.
Tawil, N. El. (2018). Details of Egyptian-Chinese agreements, prospective partnerships –EgyptToday. Egypt Today.
Tiezzi Shannon. (2016). China’s Stake in the Saudi Arabia-Iran Clash. The Diplomat.
Xi Jinping Calls for the Building of New Type of International Relations with Win-Win Cooperation at the Core in a Speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. (2013). Retrieved from