CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA ALEXANDRIA United States
Over the past decade, Chinas presence in the Middle East and Indian Ocean has expanded significantly. While great attention has been paid to Chinas growing economic presence as part of Beijings Belt and Road Initiative, in reality, Chinas activities in the region had been increasing well before the start of Xi Jinpings signature policy initiative. Moreover, this growth has occurred across a wide range of domains, including military, diplomatic, economic, and even informational. How is Chinas presence in the Middle East and Western Indian Ocean evolving, and what does it mean for the United States and its equities in the region This study examines Chinas growing presence in 23 states throughout the Middle East, East Africa, and Western Indian Ocean. It analyzes the drivers of Chinas growing presence in this region, as well as Chinas various diplomatic, informational, military, and economic domains. By doing so, this study seeks to move the discussion of Chinas growing global activities beyond discussions of Belt and Road, provide a more comprehensive understanding of how Chinas presence in the Middle East and Western Indian Ocean region is evolving, and improve our understanding of what these changes mean for the U.S. Navy and U.S. national security interests more broadly.