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China between Iran and the Gulf Monarchies

The Middle East Studies Forum invite you to the webinar ‘China between Iran and the Gulf Monarchies’ presented by Dr. Jonathan Fulton from Zayed University, UAE.

China is a major economic actor in the Persian Gulf and its expansive Belt and Road Initiative ambitions add a strategic element to the already politically complex region. In an intensely competitive regional security environment, China has maintained an unusual approach, deepening ties with all Persian Gulf states, perhaps best exemplified by its comprehensive strategic partnerships with Iran and its rivals Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

This approach has led some to characterize China as a neutral regional power, while tense US-GCC relations have led others to presume that China’s real strategic interests in the Gulf lie with Iran.

In this webinar Jonathan argues that what looks like Chinese neutrality is actually a response to the US constructed regional security architecture.  A closer examination of China’s regional interests indicate that China has preferences for Gulf order that actually favours the monarchies over Iran.

In developing their relations with China the GCC states have often relied upon economic opportunities to build leverage against Iran, and this has had a profound influence on China’s regional interests.

You can access the event flyer here

Speaker bio:

Jonathan Fulton is an Assistant Professor of Political Science in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  He is also a senior non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council.  He has written widely on China-Middle East relations for both academic and popular publications.  His books include China’s Relations with the Gulf Monarchies, External Power and the Gulf Monarchies, and the forthcoming Regions in the Belt and Road Initiative.


18 June 2020
Melbourne 5pm GMT +10 hours
UAE 11am GMT +4 hours
Please join us via *Zoom

Please RSVP to by 16 June 2020

*Attendees will be provided with a Zoom link and password to access the webinar via a calendar invite sent to the email address registered with on the 17 June 2020

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