China starts to sketch new Middle East architecture

As America recalibrates its terms of engagement with the Middle East, China has gradually been expanding its influence in ways that could alter the very character of the regional order.  

The burst of diplomatic activity between China and Middle Eastern countries that garnered widespread media attention in January this year is emblematic of this trend. 

At the same time, China wishes to portray itself as a different kind of great power. Shortly after the flurry of diplomatic activity, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the press that “there is never a ‘power vacuum,’” in the Middle East “and there is no need of ‘patriarchy from outside.’”

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