China and the rapidly changing security dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa


Play episode:

A pair of recent Congressional hearings revealed the heightened anxiety in Washington about China’s expanding presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Both lawmakers and Pentagon officials appear increasingly concerned that China’s rapidly expanding economic, security, and diplomatic presence in the region will come at the expense of the United States.

Fudan University international relations scholar Andrea Ghiselli agrees…well, sort of. In a new paper published in the RUSI Journal and a new book that just came out from Oxford University Press, Ghiselli argues that China does, in fact, want to erode U.S. influence in MENA as part of a broader campaign to transition from a unipolar world to a multipolar one. But contrary to the perception among many in Washington, Ghiselli contends that the Chinese have no plans to challenge the U.S. militarily in MENA but will instead rely on economic and diplomatic initiatives.