Connected vessels: West Asia and east Asia in China's geopolitics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


East Asia and West Asia (the Middle East)2 are usually treated in the academic literature as two distinct and separate issues in Chinese foreign policy. Studies of China's policy in East Asia hardly mention the Middle East and studies of the Middle East hardly mention East Asia. In fact, these two regions are not simply interconnected in China's geopolitical outlook but provide clues to understanding Beijing's foreign policy toward each of them -they are interdependent. As such, they are connected vessels in the sense that the situation in one region affects, or even determines, China's policy in the other. This is evident in a number of perspectives: strategy, economics, energy, military and Islam. Mutual dependence is one of the features of contemporary international relations, after the end of the Cold War. While usually it is limited to one aspect or two (primarily economic and military), in the case of China and the Middle East, mutual regional dependence involve a number of levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-339
Number of pages21
Issue number35
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • East Asia
  • Foreign policy
  • Geopolitics
  • Middle East
  • West Asia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


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