China in the Middle East: A New Regional Superpower?

Join the panel to discuss China’s growing interest in the Middle East, the challenge it poses to the US, and what role Beijing plays in the region’s future.

From the deal reached between Saudia Arabia and Iran to hosting Middle Eastern leaders in Beijing for a state visit following the most recent escalation in the Israel-Palestine conflict, China is increasingly demonstrating its interest in the Middle East. This panel aims to investigate what role China plays in the region’s future and how it might be using the Middle East as a step to challenge and transform the US-led global security architecture and the international system. Some discussion points may include China as a potential conflict mediator, its threat to US influence/interest, and how its preference for bilateral strategic partnership, as opposed to traditional alliances, with regional powers, might be transforming the Middle East and even the international system itself.

The Speakers:

Professor William Hurst is Chong Hua Professor of Chinese Development in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) and Deputy Director at the Centre for Geopolitics, University of Cambridge. He research in Chinese foreign policy focuses on the interaction of domestic politics and international structural factors, and how they shape states’ approaches to international relations.

Mr Ahmed Aboudouh is an associate fellow at Chatham House and a nonresident fellow with the Middle East Programs at the Atlantic Council. He currently heads the China Studies research unit at the Emirates Policy Center (EPC). He focuses on China’s rising influence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Gulf geopolitcs, and US-China competition. He was previously a consultant editor at The Independent and has experience covering multiple regional conflicts in the Middle East.

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