Mustafa AlDarraji – researcher

China’s interest in the Middle East is recent compared to the major powers, with the first Chinese diplomatic relations with the Middle East dating back to the late 19th century, although there have been historical trade relations since ancient times, this has not been the case in political relations during modern times.
Over time, the importance of the Middle East, and the Gulf region in particular in the Chinese strategic perception, has increased. China has therefore attached great importance to the region, expanding its diplomatic relations. between China and some Gulf States in terms of the provision of crude oil to China in exchange for the supply of Chinese goods and as China grows stronger and seeks to be a second global pole that has changed its strategy and foreign policy towards the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region, It is no longer solely dependent on the supply of goods and goods to the States of the region and the opening of joint strategic projects and thus crowding the United States into its spheres of influence in the Persian Gulf, What’s more, she is presenting herself as a peacemaker in the Middle East. And not as an instigator of war as the United States of America, especially when it was able to lead the mediation of reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran.  thus pursuing a strategy of establishing security, avoiding wars and religious and ethnic divisions, and supporting international reconciliation projects for the prosperity of the trade and development process led by them, especially in the States where their mega-project is going through the Belt and Road project.
In this paper, we try to highlight China’s foreign strategy and policies for the Middle East and the Persian Gulf in particular and trace the history of China’s relationship with Saudi Arabia in the diplomatic, economic, and military fields.
First: China’s strategy toward the Middle East
China’s Middle East policy is defined by the complex context of the region Noting the intense rivalry between the States of the region on the one hand and the great Powers on the other, Thus, China’s strategy is to maintain a delicate balance between many priorities that may sometimes conflict with each other, The establishment of equal relations in isolation between different and conflicting countries began with the economic aspect until China expanded its ambition to become strategic military relations, The history of China’s remarkable interest in the Middle East and the Arab region begins at the end of the twentieth century And their visions are becoming clear, and their strategies are being completed at the beginning of the twenty-first century, all the way up to the 2016 year, which saw an important event in China-Middle East relations through a series of China’s political moves, the most important of which is the first trip of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to the Middle East. (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, and subsequently the United Arab Emirates)  economic involvement in the region. and sent a clear message to the States of the region expressing their importance to China, Relations are expanding into strategic relations with a significant number of Arab States, particularly Saudi Arabia. and held periodic strategic summits between Saudi Arabia and China on the one hand, and China and the Arab States on the other hand, and recently China’s interest in the Arab region has gone beyond the economic aspect, To have political interest in the region’s problems until it interfered with the reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Thus, economic, political, and strategic rivalry in the Middle East, has long been viewed as an area of American influence.