China’s Efforts to Legitimize the Implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in the Arabian Gulf

Number: 50
Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

Although the Gulf is not highlighted on the official map of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, it is one of the main regions where the BRI is being implemented. President Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized that Gulf countries are essential partners in jointly building the BRI. Since then, various actors from China, mainly firms, banks, and financial institutions have actively embarked on efforts to implement the BRI in the Gulf.  This report aims to analyse how China's legitimating efforts are being carried out and who are the actors involved. It does so by dividing China’s efforts into two components: the efforts, which concerns how the objectives of the BRI are articulated to appeal to the regional society; and the actors, which refers to the specific actors involved in the process. In the last part, it also assesses the limitations of China’s efforts.