In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Dawn Murphy to discuss China’s engagement with the global south, particularly the Middle East. Murphy lays out drivers of China’s engagement with the Middle East, which includes securing access to resources and markets and obtaining support for PRC policies. At the same time, China is building an alternative order in the Middle East, deepening relations with regional actors across the board. She argues that Beijing’s approach towards the Israel-Hamas conflict is consistent with its prior positions on tensions in the region. She explains that despite China’s growing influence in the region, it is not clear Beijing believes it can or should do more to end the Israel-Hamas conflict aside from facilitating dialogue among regional stakeholders. Beijing is unlikely to use its leverage to pressure Iran or other actors. Finally, she notes that China benefits from a stable and peaceful Middle East and there is potential for the United States and China to find common ground. Washington should understand the limits of Beijing’s willingness to become involved.
Dr. Dawn Murphy is the author of the book “China’s Rise in the Global South: The Middle East, Africa, and Beijing’s Alternative World Order.” Dr. Murphy is an associate professor of National Security Strategy at the U.S. National War College. She specializes in Chinese foreign policy and domestic politics and U.S.-China relations. Her research analyzes China’s interests as a rising global power and its behavior towards the existing international order.