China wants to be a big player in the Middle East


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The latest six-nation tour of the Middle East and Turkey by Chinese Foreign Minister Wáng Yì 王毅 revealed that Beijing now aims to play a much larger role in the region.

During his trip, Wang signed a high-profile strategic cooperation agreement with Iran, announced a major vaccine production deal with the United Arab Emirates, and brought China’s message on Xinjiang to Saudi Arabia, home of Islam’s two holiest sites in Mecca and Medina.

An assistant professor of political science at Zayed University and an Atlantic Council senior fellow, Jonathan Fulton is among the world’s foremost China-Middle East scholars and closely followed Wang’s trip. He joins Eric and Cobus from Abu Dhabi to discuss the outcomes of the recent tour and China’s broader ambitions in the Middle East.