The US-China Rivalry in the Middle East: Confrontation or Competitive Coexistence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new era of great power rivalry has returned to the center of the global stage. The Middle East has emerged as one of the key arenas where this rivalry is being played out, and analyzing it through the lens of power transition theory provides valuable insights into the dynamics at play. This study focuses on the great power rivalry between the United States and China in the Middle East through the lens of power transition theory. It examines whether this great power rivalry in the region will allow them to pursue competitive coexistence or if they can expect increasing levels of confrontation and mutual deterrence. The study maintains that the US-China rivalry in the Middle East is multidimensional and spans primarily three dimensions: geo-economic (the Belt and Road Initiative framework), geopolitical (partnership diplomacy), and the race for technological supremacy (the Digital Silk Road). While conflict is not inevitable, it is essential to recognize the potential for confrontation and build a coordinated mechanism to manage and mitigate these tensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-252
Number of pages22
JournalContemporary Review of the Middle East
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • China
  • Digital Silk Road
  • Middle East
  • United States
  • great power competition
  • power transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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