Minghao Zhao, an adjunct fellow at the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University, reports that, “The growing bloodshed in Iraq and Syria is being watched as keenly in China as anywhere else in the world. Indeed, the greater Middle East is becoming an ever greater focus of Chinese foreign policy,” The executive editor of China International Strategy Review writes in a June 20, 2014, opinion post in The Japan Times. He noted:
At the just-concluded sixth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, held in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping called upon his Arab counterparts to upgrade their strategic relationships with China, by deepening bilateral cooperation in areas ranging from finance and energy to space technology.
Minghao Zhao said, “This reflects China’s broader goal — established partly in response to America’s “pivot” toward Asia — of rebalancing its strategic focus westward, with an emphasis on the Arab world.”
For more of Minghao Zhao perspective on why China is turning its focus westward, please see “China turning its attention to the Middle East.”