“Deciphering China in the Middle East”, Erzsébet N. Rózsa (IWE CERS, Hungary)

It is commonly perceived that the engagement of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the Middle East is driven primarily by economic interests, and that it prefers to steer clear of the conflicts in the region as much as possible. Its landmark ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI), launched in 2013 as a global infrastructure development strategy, contributes to this perception. This notion, however, overlooks the larger context of China’s engagement, both historical and contemporary. 

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