Episode 10: China-MENA Relations – Picking Up Where We Left Off

Synopsis: China-MENA Relations

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on growing competition between the United States and China.  The rise of China as an investor, financier and economic partner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) deserves close attention.  This is especially the case as the political and economic dynamics in this region differ significantly from others.  The United States is traditionally active in the MENA as the guarantor of security and economic development. But, China’s footprint is growing fast through the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as through bilateral agreements.  So, does this foretell a change in foreign power dynamics throughout the entire region? What does this mean for countries in the region?  How are China-MENA relations changing?

In July 2022, the Hollings Center hosted a dialogue conference, entitled China’s Growing Footprint in the Middle East and North Africa. It sought to assess how increased Chinese involvement would impact the region. It also evaluated how increased Chinese presence in the region would affect other great power involvement. To pick up where that dialogue left off, on the future of China-MENA relations. Michael Carroll speaks with Jing Gu and Adel Abdel Ghafar in this latest podcast episode.



Jing Gu is a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development at IDS, University of Sussex. She also leads the IDS China Centre. She has extensive experience in research and advisory work on governance, business, infrastructure investment, energy and sustainable development. 

Adel Abdel Ghafar

Adel Abdel Ghafar is director of the Foreign Policy and Security Program at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs. He specializes in political economy and his research interests include state-society relations and socio-economic development in the MENA region.


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