China's Expanding Influence in the Middle East: Trade, Energy, Security, and Multipolarity

Beijing’s bilateral relations to regional powers and its engagement in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria

September 28 Thursday


September 28, 2017, 09.30 - 15.30


Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, AUB, Beirut, Lebanon. To the website ›



The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s Syria/Iraq Office will host a conference in Beirut on China’s engagement in the Middle East

Also available in Deutsch

In recent years, China has significantly increased its political visibility in the region. In 2016 alone, China undertook unprecedented diplomatic efforts in the Syrian conflict, began to construct its first military base outside China in Djibouti, and published its first Arab policy paper. Given these endeavors, the growing divergence from its constitutional foreign policy paradigm of ‘Non-Interference’ becomes evident.

Although Beijing’s foremost interest in the Middle East continues to be the uninterrupted access to the energy resources of the region, the Middle East also offers China unprecedented business opportunities. With Beijing’s ambitious ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) Initiative, Xi Jinping’s most important strategic initiative during his presidency aims to economically connect 60 countries throughout Asia and Europe by rebuilding the ancient Silk Road, completed by a Maritime Silk Road. Given its pivotal role in the ancient Silk Road, the Middle East continues to play a vital role in the implementation of ‘OBOR’ and the challenge of Western influence and presence in the region. Besides its economic interests, China commands a significant Muslim minority of 23 million people, particularly in its Western region of Xinjiang, making the fight against radical Islamist terrorism a major priority on China’s foreign policy agenda. Politically, the Middle East offers Beijing the opportunity to reshape the international system according to its vision of a multipolar, harmonious world, but also to participate in the global arena.

In light of China’s interests in the region and its increased political efforts, this conference seeks to determine the extent and impact of Chinese involvement in the Middle East. The event will bring together renowned international China experts as well as scholars from the Middle East and will consist of two panels of 90 minutes each, followed by a discussion and wrap-up panel.


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Contact person

Nils Wörmer

Head of KAS office Syria/Iraq

Nils Wörmer
Phone +961 (0) 1388 061/062
Fax +961 (0) 1388 064
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Français,‎ عربي