China’s Middle East Policy: President Xi Jinping’s Recent Visits

China’s Middle East policy is driven by a genuine desire for peace and security in the region. It is also underpinned by China’s growing economic and commercial ties and massive imports of crude oil. China is seeking greater diplomatic and political support for its “One Belt One Road” (OBOR) initiative, a broader inter-regional development strategy. China is a development partner of many Middle Eastern countries. Traditionally, it has never supported regime change in the Middle East pursued by Western countries from time to time. China strongly advocates non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and opposes use of force to bring change in the Middle East or anywhere else. China neither fights proxy wars in the Middle East nor is interested in filling the vacuums of power. It has never been comfortable with the way change was enforced in Iraq and Libya or the manner in which the Syrian crisis is being handled. The country has resolutely eschewed Middle East’s sectarian feuds.

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