Research Initiatives

Research Initiatives

China and the Middle East

With the disintegration of the region’s traditionally strong states of Iraq and Syria, the constriction of Iran, and the loss of Egypt’s capacity to assert any real influence or project power, there appears to be little capacity within the Middle East and North Africa to address regional conflagrations. China’s engagements and intentions in the Middle East have increasingly become the focus of a range of academic and policy studies. Much of the existing scholarship has viewed Chinese engagements in the Middle East through the lens of security, with particular attention being paid to the implications of China’s interactions for the United States and its allies. However, China’s evolving relationship in the region ought to be principally viewed as an outcome of its own interests in securing its energy needs and developing export markets, as well as the fact that it has become a significant global power and cannot afford to divorce itself from events in the Arab world. In the 2014-2015 academic year CIRS has launched a new research initiative on “China and the Middle East.” The purpose of this project is to examine the unfolding relationship between China and the Middle East using a multi-disciplinary lens. The intention of this project is to provide an analytical study of the relationship between China and the countries of the Middle East, not only through the lenses of international security, energy, economics and investments, but also taking into account China’s broader engagements with the region in the social and cultural spheres as well.

At the current and somewhat critical juncture, the ongoing crises in the weakened states of Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria, the unsettled nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the expansion of a host of new non-state actors that threaten both regional and international stability, the Middle East and North Africa continue to draw the attention of the world community.

red starJames Reardon-Anderson, ed., The Red Star and the Crescent (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2018). 

red star "The Red Star and the Crescent," CIRS Summary Report no. 21 (Doha, Qatar: Center for International and Regional Studies, 2017).

  • Click here to read about the "China and the Middle East" Working Group Meeting I 
  • Click here to read about the "China and the Middle East" Working Group Meeting II

As part of its Research and Scholarship initiatives, CIRS organizes several ongoing Working Groups that convene in Doha to examine a variety of international issues. The primary purpose of CIRS research initiatives is to fill in existing research gaps, and to contribute towards furthering knowledge on the prevailing issues related to security, economic stability, and the political realm of the region.