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Cover International Relations of the Middle East

17. Russia, China, and the Middle East  

Roland Dannreuther

This chapter addresses the important relationships that are currently evolving between Russia, China, and the Middle East. Russia and China have emerged as increasingly powerful actors in the Middle East and their presence and influence in the region has grown significantly. While both states have had longstanding historical links with the region, the twenty-first-century panorama is a quite distinctive one, with new economic and geopolitical factors driving a return to Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In addition, significant Muslim populations in both countries add another dynamic to contemporary Russian and Chinese relations with MENA. The chapter then identifies the challenges this presents for the United States and the West, and how the states and peoples of the Middle East are responding to the resurgence of Russian and Chinese power in the region.