Power Play

China sees rich pickings in the Middle East

A confluence of factors offers China opportunities to expand its diplomatic and economic footprint. But it is far from dislodging the United States as the ultimate guarantor of security in the region.

Beijing has managed to cultivate good relations with bitter rivals, among them the Iranians, the Saudis and Israelis. PHOTO: REUTERS
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Chinese President Xi Jinping made two noteworthy phone calls at the end of last month - one to United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the other to his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema.

This came just days after the United States had unveiled its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the Biden administration's plan to push back against China's growing economic clout in Asia.

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