China steps up engagement in the Middle East

China’s greater engagement in the Middle East comes as it looks to secure its military, energy, economic and infrastructure interests in the region (source: macpixxel for GIS)
China’s greater engagement in the Middle East comes as it looks to secure its military, energy, economic and infrastructure interests in the region (source: macpixxel for GIS)

Beijing’s increasing involvement in the Middle East has important economic, diplomatic, and military implications for the region, China and the world. The stakes were highlighted when the Chinese government chose to build its first overseas military base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa. President Xi Jinping’s recent visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia drove the point home. While beefing up its presence in the Middle East could pay off for China in a big way, Beijing will have to tread carefully to avoid becoming entangled in the region’s conflicts, writes GIS guest expert Brendan O’Reilly.

Beijing’s choice of Djibouti as the site of its first overseas military base is an important indi...

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