The Emergence of China in the Middle East (Strategic Forum, Number 271, December 2011)
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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Chinas presence in the Middle East has grown exponentially over the past decade and is affecting the regions strategic environment. Chinese influence is multidimensional, encompassing economics, defense, diplomacy, and soft power. Beijing currently sees its interests in the Middle East best served by focusing on commerce and keeping a low profile. However, Middle Eastern states are increasingly drawing China into political and security issues, which may lead China to play a more prominent political role in the region. To mitigate any potentially negative effects of Chinas growing influence, the United States should explore cooperative efforts with China in energy security, continue strategic dialogue with the Chinese government on Middle East issues, and maintain a military presence to ensure continued security of U.S. allies and freedom of navigation in Middle Eastern waters.
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