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China and the Middle East: More Than Oil

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Within the next 20 years, the need for oil will account for just 20% of global consumption, but by the year 2040, that percentage will have increased to 75%. More than half of the oil that is necessary for the functioning of the industries and the upkeep of development is imported by China.

Oil is only one of many things that China has an interest in when it comes to the Middle East; their interests go much beyond that. China was responsible for some of the building work in Saudi Arabia and Iran. China has big plans to expand its reach into the Middle East. To demonstrate its presence and proclaim itself a global force within the context of the regional pattern. It is a fact that China’s rapidly expanding economy has a significant need for more oil.

China is likewise seeking an alternate supply, but as time has passed, its reliance on the middle east has grown from 19% in 1990 to 70% in 2020. Nearly twenty percent of China’s oil comes from Saudi Arabia, while ten percent comes from Iran. The fact that China has inked many petroleum agreements with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait demonstrates the country’s interest in the areas that are rich in oil and other commodities.

The oil industry is just one component of China’s interest in the Middle East. This interest provides a hyperlink to China’s growing influence on the world stage. The value of China’s trade with the Middle East surpassed that of the United States to become the region’s most important trading partner, having climbed from 100 to 222 dollars. Middle eastern nations that rely heavily on low-wage workers can afford the low-priced consumer products and commodities of everyday use that China ships there from its factories. In addition to this, China made investments in the transportation sector, technology sector, agricultural sector, real estate sector, and energy sector.

China is also making investments in the process of reconstructing Iran’s infrastructure. Even though China is the biggest exporter of oil from Iran, accounting for fifty percent of total exports, China makes every effort to smooth the road during discussions and diplomatic efforts. China is making significant efforts to protect the access it has to the energy resources that are situated in the nations of the middle east.

China is steadily climbing the ranks of world powers, and its growing influence in the Middle East is a clear indication that it has been successful in consolidating its authority over the nations of that region. Middle Eastern nations want to avoid getting into any kind of dispute with China since China is their most important trading partner; they want to make sure that their commercial operations aren’t interrupted. The United States’ stranglehold on the market is being challenged by China’s rapid expansion there. In 2010, China’s trade volume with middle eastern nations surpassed that of the United States’ trade volume with those countries.

China’s interest in the nations of the Middle East stems from the proposal known as the “New silk route,” in which the countries of the Middle East serve as a connection between the continents of Europe and Africa. These regions provide half of China’s crude oil imports which makes Arabs countries natural partners of the belt and road initiative.

China is participating in commercial operations while maintaining a neutral stance about the disputes that are taking place in the region at the same time. China is playing the role of the middle. Regarding the Iran nuclear agreement, the crisis in Syria, and the conflict between Israel and Palestine, China takes the position that these issues should be addressed diplomatically and politically. China took positive action to improve its position in the eyes of all parties involved in the dispute and to maximize the amount of profit it could make from the situation while minimizing the impact on trade.

Not only is China achieving its goals for its interests, but on the other side, Saudi Arabia is also making progress toward its goals for 2030. The construction of new infrastructure received significant funding in Iran. Oil from Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia is sold to China, bringing in billions of dollars. On the other hand, China provided advantages to these nations while simultaneously expanding its soft power to advance the “New Silk Route.” This was done for the greater good of the initiative. Chinese studies were first included in the university curricula of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Millions of Chinese visitors travel to these nations, and some of them decided to make a permanent move there.