Evron, Yoram. “China’s Diplomatic Initiatives in the Middle East: The Quest for a Great-Power Role in the Region.” International Relations (early view; online first).
Since the early 2010s, there have been mounting calls in China to intensify its role in the Middle East. But seeing the region as highly turbulent, Beijing seems to restrain its political involvement there. So what role does China actually strive for in the Middle East? To answer this question, the article first presents China’s discourse on its future role in the region; next, it analyzes China’s involvement in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the Syrian civil war, focusing on three diplomatic initiatives it has made concerning these issues. The argument here is that China strives to be part of major processes in the Middle East and attempts to advance its values and interests there, but in a unique pattern of big-power involvement in the region, it tries to achieve this without intensive investment of political, economic, and military resources.