By Aleksandr Konovalov
FAIR OBSERVER • June 19, 2017
China may be on the way to taking over America’s role as the key regional player in the Middle East.
The US missile strike
on the Syrian regime’s airbase in Khan Shayrat, followed by an exchange
of extreme rhetoric, led to a surge in commentary on US-Russia
relations and the potential for cooperation between Washington and
Moscow in tackling the Syrian crisis together. However, the civil war
raging in Syria is only one of the many problems facing the Middle East,
and one other major factor must be added into the analysis.
It has been a common trend among foreign policy experts, analysts and
practitioners to approach geopolitics of the Middle East by taking into
account only few major non-regional players. Since the 1950s, the two
most important of them have been the United States and Russia (or the
USSR). However, today, another non-regional actor should be added to the
Middle Eastern equation: an actor of subtle yet global reach, with
vital national interest in the region — the People’s Republic of China.