In recent years, the Middle East has started playing an increasingly important role in Beijing’s foreign policy. For China this region is not just a new market to conquer, it’s both a potential source or barrier that can prevent all sorts of terrorists and separatists from infiltrating the territory of the People’s Republic of China, a nation that has already witnessed foreign-sponsored separatism in its Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
However, in its quest for regional stability across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), China is likely to be opposed by both the United States and Saudi Arabia. Should Beijing pursue regional political stability at the expense of promoting political change it may well be accused of violating its own principle of non-interference that it has maintained while approaching other states.
It’s already been stated that China’s abandonment of non-interference is represented in its efforts to mediate conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan as well as between Israel and Palestine and even between Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, time and time again Beijing fails to fulfill the hopes of those seeking its assistance in settling regional disputes, which puts it at risk of tying itself up in political knots in countries such as Pakistan, which is home to the crown jewel of its Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR) — the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
It’s seems that Beijing is fully aware of how risky it is to become involved in the Middle East, a region that has witnessed a number of violent political transitions over the last decade, largely due to an extensive amount of foreign interference. It’s safe to say that as of now the whole MENA region is still at the beginning of a transition process that could take up to a quarter of a century to finally resolve.
For centuries the Middle East has been caught at the center of political struggles between major powers that would more often than not result in violent conflict, leading to poverty and bloodshed. For instance, Washington has long been convinced that MENA falls into its sphere of interests, which means that Western foreign policy think tanks would most certainly find the transformation of China into a principal Middle East player unacceptable. ...
See the full article @ New Eastern Outlook