A STUDY OF THE SINO-SAUDI AND SINO-PERSIAN RELATIONSHIPS

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Authors
Lopez, Juan
Subjects
Middle East
China
Iran
Saudi Arabia
Gulf Cooperation Council
GCC
Strait of Hormuz
CENTCOM
NAVCENT
Sino-Saudi
Sino-Persian
Advisors
Russell, James A.
Date of Issue
2020-03
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
This thesis examines the emerging relationship of two Middle Eastern regional powers—Saudi Arabia and Iran—with a globally expansionist Chinese state. Due to the existing U.S. national security interests in the Middle Eastern region, it is critical to identify the principal drivers that have prompted both Iran and Saudi Arabia to develop closer ties with China in order to determine if and how these relationships may affect U.S. interests. Clarifying the dynamics of the Sino-Saudi and Sino-Persian relationships will enable U.S. decisionmakers to better anticipate the effects those relationships may have on the Middle Eastern region. To determine the drivers compelling Saudi Arabia and Iran closer to China, the thesis applies a qualitative case study method to examine aspects of the economic, diplomatic, and security factors of the Sino-Saudi and Sino-Persian relationships. The research broadly assesses the period that established formal relations—1979 for the Sino-Persian case and 1990 for the Sino-Saudi case—through present day. The research found that economic factors are the main drivers contributing to closer ties in both the Sino-Saudi and Sino-Persian relationships. Although this thesis clarifies the factors that compel the Sino-Saudi and Sino-Persian relationships, these factors are not indicative of what drives other Middle Eastern countries to develop stronger ties with China.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Organization
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NPS Report Number
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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