China’s Expanding Involvement in South Asia and the Saudi-Iran Détente


Chinese investments, trade relations, diplomatic overtures, and geopolitical penetration of the Gulf and South Asia are broadly altering the economic and political landscapes of local countries. Notable developments like the Chinese-brokered Saudi Arabia-Iran agreement signed in March 2023, the roughly $300 billion economic and security pact China reached with Iran in 2021, and ongoing work on the $65 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have all reshaped strategic thinking across the region.

PoliTact and MEI cordially invites you to virtual event that will examine the growing multifaceted impact of Beijing’s outreach to the wider Middle East  — namely the countries of the Gulf and South Asia. In what ways did Pakistan’s close relations and economic dependency on China influence its reaction to the growing Chinese involvement with Saudi Arabia and Iran? What has a more regionally engaged China meant for Afghanistan’s Taliban government? And how has India, with its expanding economic links to Arab countries and Iran as well as long-running defense ties with Russia, reacted to increased Chinese involvement in all those key partners? Please join us as our assembled scholars discuss these questions, think through the possible consequences of China’s policies for the unfolding Great Power competition across the region, and consider whether and how the United States should reprioritize its global strategic and security interests in response.


Yun Sun
Senior Fellow and Co-Director, China, East Asia, Stimson Center

Daniel Markey
Senior Advisor, South Asia Programs, USIP

Khaled Almaeena
Fmr. Editor-in-Chief, Arab News; Saudi Gazette

Syed Mohammad Ali
Non-Resident Scholar, Middle East Institute

Gerald M. Feierstein, moderator
Distinguished Senior Fellow on U.S. Diplomacy; Director, Arabian Peninsula Program, Middle East Institute

May 22, 2023
10:00 am-11:30 am

Related Events:

Biden’s Middle East Policy, China-Iran Ties, and CPEC, December 28, 2020

Examining Saudi-Iran Tensions And Its Impact On South Asia, China
January 4, 2019


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