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Chinese Communist Strategy Toward the Islamic Countries

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Student thesis

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China places great importance on the underdeveloped nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, in the success of the world revolution to bring Communism to all nations. Islamic nations of North Africa and the Middle East are an important segment in which China has a special interest. These nations have histories and characteristics which require a division into geographical areas to facilitate examination. The Arab Middle East has been a region of great unrest and tensions between states. Almost all have gained independence from colonialism since World War II. Growth of Israel has been a major irritant. Earlier attempts to achieve political union have given way to more peaceful co-existence between the states, improved rapport between the monarchies and the republics, and a common unity in the determination to eliminate Israel. The Cold War competition between the United States and Russia also exacerbated Arab relationships in the years when these great powers were less subtle in their approach. Since 1963, both nations have gradually improved their image in the Arab world by more careful maneuverings. The threat of Russian Communism was eliminated largely at Arab initiative, and it is not a significant presence in these Arab nations. The North African states are comparatively free of interstate tensions. They are generally Western-oriented, although Algeria professes non-alignment. None are very involved in the political relationship of Egypt and the Arab Middle East. The Northern Tier states, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, also have few interstate problems. Turkey and Iran are allied with the West. Afghanistans proximity to Russia places her largely in the Russian sphere, although she claims neutrality. China has made a strong effort to increase her prestige and influence in all these countries, while concurrently lowering Russian and American influence. She seeks to establish formal diplomatic relations with all of them, and has done so with the great majority.

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  • Government and Political Science

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