HomeInfraChina’s soft power shapes a Pax Sinica in Middle East

China’s soft power shapes a Pax Sinica in Middle East


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The March 10 announcement that Saudi Arabia and Iran will restore diplomatic relations under China’s mediation drew astonishment from Western commentators.

By American standards, China’s presence in the Middle East is minimal. But China’s footprint in trade and especially technology has grown enormously in Western Asia, allowing Beijing to turn its gradual accumulation of soft power into an unprecedented diplomatic coup.

Saudi Arabia is the evident winner in the agreement. After decades of proxy war between Shiite Iran and the Sunni kingdom, a cessation of hostilities implies that Iran and its proxies will stand down. US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on March 10 that “any effort to de-escalate tensions there in the region…is in our interest,” adding that the US welcomes the agreement.

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