China's expansion into the Middle East and its effects on U.S. foreign policy
Saito, Henry Toshihiko.
Russell, James A.
Twomey, Christopher P.
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As a repercussion of the phenomenal Chinese economic growth over the past few decades, China is forced to deal with the challenge of meeting an equally rapid increase in energy demand. China realizes that its continued economic expansion is reliant on its ability to meet this growing need. Over 80% of the worldâ s proven oil reserves located in the Middle East, and China realizes that Middle Eastern states will play a vital role in Beijingâ s ability to meet its energy demands in the future. As a result, China has aggressively pursued closer political, military, and economic ties with Middle Eastern states. Chinaâ s actions have come in conflict with U.S. policies in the Middle East, and there currently is much debate regarding Chinaâ s intensions in the Middle East. Some believe Chinaâ s actions are intended to challenge U.S. power and influence in the Middle East. Others believe that China is simply acting in its economic interests. This thesis will examine Chinaâ s policies and actions in the Middle East and will attempt to determine whether China is acting in the offensive realism or economic interdependence school of thought. It examines two cases in particularâ Saudi Arabia and Iranâ and concludes that Chinaâ s behavior is closely aligned to the economic interdependence school of thought.
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