Op-Ed | Center for American Security

American weakness enables Chinese ambitions in Middle East

Adam Savit,  October 26, 2023

This article originally appeared in The Washington Times on October 26, 2023. 

China’s primary geopolitical goal is to displace the United States as a global power, and it is taking advantage of the Israel-Hamas war to expand its influence in the Middle East. The Chinese Communist Party sees its rivalry with the U.S. as a zero-sum game, and so it welcomes any weakening of Israel, a close U.S. ally.

It also views the disruption of the Abraham Accords — which established diplomatic relations between Israel and Gulf Arab states — or a potential Israel-Saudi normalization as a win for Iran and the larger Beijing-Moscow-Tehran axis.

The reality, however, is that China is not ready to play with the “big boys” in the Middle East. China cannot project its military power, intimidate economically, or manipulate diplomatically enough to challenge U.S. influence directly. But the U.S. cannot keep it that way unless we course-correct back to the America First policies of just two years ago.

Read full op-ed in The Washington Times

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