A paper discussing China as a strategic partner for the GCC by DERASAT analyst, Mahmood Abdul Ghafffar, has recently been published in the Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Volume 12, 2018 – Issue 4.
China’s relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council states is relatively young, however, both sides are making up for lost time. Some of the GCC states are leveraging their own domestic development strategy with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as mechanisms to further cooperation. The BRI’s success hinges on cooperation with the GCC states to meet China’s energy needs and secure sea routes of the Arabian Peninsula that is vital for global trade. Following the 2011 Arab Upheavals, the GCC states are recalibrating their strategic outlook that is evolving the region’s traditional security architecture. The Gulf states are adamant in diversifying strategic partners, and have identified China as a potential candidate. However, as Beijing’s Middle Eastern engagement deepens, so too will its management of regional affairs.
Mahmood Abdul Ghaffar, Analyst