Expert: China Seeking Larger Economic, Military Footprint in Middle East


China is seeking to grow its economic and military footprint in the Middle East, an important source of energy and trade, a prominent Chinese professor said this week.

Pan Guang, a professor at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, spoke at George Washington University on Wednesday about China’s desire to become more involved in the affairs of the Middle East as it seeks to implement its “One Belt One Road” strategy.

The strategy aims to rekindle China’s ancient Silk Road trade routes with Europe and Africa and has drawn some concern from the U.S.

Guang, who is also the director of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Belt and Road Studies Center, spoke of China’s growing economic footprint in the Gulf states. Twenty years ago, there were no Chinese there, but today, there are 300,000 Chinese and “many, many thousands of small companies” in Dubai’s Dragon City, he said.

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