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China-Middle East relations and how the natural resources affect their relations

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Diego L.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Trade between China and the Middle East
    1. China and Iran ? Oil and the nuclear question
    2. China and Saudi Arabia
    3. China and Iraq
    4. China and Yemen
  3. China, the U.S and Public Opinion in the Middle East.
  4. Conclusion


It remains without a doubt that the economic boom that China has witnessed in the last few decades had many implications for other regions of the world, including the Middle East. To fuel its ever increasing production and consumption patterns, and its ultimate search for economic profit, China requires colossal amounts of natural resources, most importantly in its search for energy. Although coal is the most used natural resource to produce domestically needed energy; the import of oil and gas is becoming increasingly crucial to meet the huge Chinese demand.

Considering the strategic impact of energy resources, and its sheer size when compared to the trade in other natural resources between China and the Middle East, I will focus mostly on the effect of energy resources in the relationship between China and the Middle East. It is in my opinion rather unnecessary to analyse how natural resources such as timber or iron ore are being exported or imported between China and the Middle East. It is in my sense also important to limit the geographic scope of this paper. The Middle East is a rather large region, covering over 20 countries. Therefore I will focus mostly on the Arabian Peninsula.

China, unlike our Western counterparts, mostly acts out of economic profit, without taking too much interest in the political situation of a country. Consequently, China has established economic ties with ?rogue' states such as Sudan, Yemen, Iraq and Iran. This paper will focus mostly on the latter and on Saudi Arabia, since these are respectively the third largest and largest oil supplier for China, with Angola in second position . The energy resources in Iraq have recently also caught the attention of Beijing, and will therefore briefly be touched upon in this paper. Yemen is also a particularly interesting case and will also be the focus of this paper, albeit on a smaller scale

[...] Most examples in that respect can be seen in Africa Conclusion The quest for natural resources will definitely remain crucial for the economic growth of China, and the Middle East will be one of its main suppliers. According to the International Energy Agency, it has been estimated that China will need to import 75% of its energy needs by 2030[16]. Therefore it can be said that China's need for energy will largely define its relations with the Middle East in the following decades. [...]


[...] As a result the economy started to boom and China in the world GNP ranking is the 6th country. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is not even in the first twenty countries. c. China and Iraq Beijing also maintains good relations with Iraq. Both countries established diplomatic ties in 1958, at the end of the Iraqi monarchy, which was ousted by the July revolution creating a republic. In the following decades, despite a number of wars and frequent changes of the government, relations remained more or less stable. [...]


[...] They didn't go about killing Westerners let alone compatriots and brothers in faith in the name of resistance[15]? This statement clearly sheds a light on the relations between China and the Middle East. Both identify themselves with each other on a historical basis, whereby the British and American had a strong influence, both positively and negatively, on both China and the Middle East. Now, as China has maintained a strong control over its population, and at the same time managed to boost its economy to withering heights, they are admired by the Middle East, whose economy depends largely on oil and whose economic development has been uneven. [...]

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