China is a great and ambitious power, despite being plagued with internal problems running the gamut from poverty to racial and sectarian conflicts. Its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which in part strengthens Sino-Arab cooperation on political, economic, and, presumably, cultural issues—even though cooperation on cultural issues is problematic for Arab societies, which tend to be partial to Western languages and cultures—aims to emphasize Beijing’s quest for regional stability, with the aim of accomplishing the country’s global goals. Of course, because the Middle East in general, and the Arab world in particular, occupy such critical roles, Beijing is bound to invest heavily throughout the area, not only to ensure the eventual success of the BRI, but also to enable China to emerge as the uncontested Eurasian power.
King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies
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