Beijing’s increasing involvement in the Middle East has important economic, diplomatic, and military implications for the region, China and the world. The stakes were highlighted when the Chinese government chose to build its first overseas military base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa. President Xi Jinping’s recent visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia drove the point home. While beefing up its presence in the Middle East could pay off for China in a big way, Beijing will have to tread carefully to avoid becoming entangled in the region’s conflicts, writes GIS guest expert Brendan O’Reilly.

Beijing’s choice of Djibouti as the site of its first overseas military base is an important indi...

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 Brendan O’Reilly
Beijing and Tehran have had a strategic partnership since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, with Iran seeing China as a useful counter to Soviet, Gulf Arab, and American pressure
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