Rethinking China, the Middle East and Asia in a 'Multiplex World'


This edited volume critically examines the changing dynamics of multidimensional relations between China, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Asia in an emerging 'multiplex world'. It challenges both extremes of 'Sinophobia' and 'Sinophilia' by studying the real 'pragmatist' China.

This book, in a foreword, introduction and thirteen chapters, problematises what MENA and Asia means to China in the age of neoliberalism, explores what are the real or perceived pillars of Sino‒MENA-Asia relations, and sheds light on how MENA can benefit from its relations with China while keeping a clear distance from the harms of neoliberal authoritarianism.

Contributors are Mojtaba Mahdavi, Tugrul Keskin, Manochehr Dorraj, Sari Hanafi, Habibul Haque Khondker, Dara Conduit, Rigas Arvanitis, Saeed Shafqat, Jordi Quero Arias, Mahesh Ranjan Debata, Andrea Ghiselli, Mher Sahakyan, Michael McCall, Yossra M. Taha and Xiaoyue Li.

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Mojtaba Mahdavi, Ph.D. (2006), Western University, is Professor of Political Science and the ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. He is the author of numerous works on MENA and Muslim politics, and the editor of The Myth of ‘Middle East Exceptionalism’: Unfinished MENA Social Movements (Syracuse University Press, 2022).

Tugrul Keskin, Ph.D. (2009), Virginia Tech, teaches at Cappadocia University in Turkey. He has held the position of Professor of Global Studies and the director of the Center for Global Governance and Political Economy at Shanghai University. He is the editor of Middle East Studies after September 11 Neo-Orientalism, American Hegemony and Academia (Brill, 2018).
Foreword: Belt and Road: China’s Opportunities and Challenges  
Manochehr Dorraj

List of Figures and Tables

Notes on Contributors

  Mojtaba Mahdavi and Tugrul Keskin

part 1
China–mena Relations at Large
1 The Triple Pillar of Sino–mena Relations in the Age of Neoliberalism
  Mojtaba Mahdavi

2 China’s Mental Maps of the Middle East and North Africa Critical Discourse Analysis of the Contemporary prc Leadership’s Geopolitical Image
  Jordi Quero Arias

part 2
The Belt and Road Initiative: Challenges and Opportunities
3 Is Growing the Iran–China Relationship as Easy as Building a Belt and Road?
  Dara Conduit

4 Belt and Road Initiative Central Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia
  Mahesh Ranjan Debata

5 The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor Building National Consensus, Curbing Terrorism, and Managing Regional Rivalries in Balochistan
  Saeed Shafqat

part 3
China’s Soft Power and Hard Power in the mena Region
6 Confucius in the uae Chinese Soft Power in the gcc
  Habibul Haque Khondker

7 China–Egypt Relations Constructing Images and Perceptions in the Belt and Road Initiative
  Xiaoyue Li

8 Smoothing the Waters Science and Research Collaboration between China and the Arab World
  Sari Hanafi and Rigas Arvanitis

9 China and the mena Region in a Decentred World
  Andrea Ghiselli

part 4
Sino-mena Regional Dynamics: Energy and Beyond
10 Sino–Turkish Relations in the New Era From Political Conflict to Economic Cooperation
  Michael McCall and Tugrul Keskin

11 Sino–Egyptian Relations and the New Regional Dynamics of the Middle East
  Yossra M. Taha

12 China’s Policy on the Iranian Nuclear Issue Cooperation and Disagreements with Russia and the United States
  Mher Sahakyan

13 Chinese Engagement with the mena Region Exploring Sino–mena Event Data
  Michael McCall


This book serves as a significant scholarly endeavour; both as a resource for policy-makers and as an academic textbook for students and professors of Political Science, Sociology, History, Anthropology, International Studies, and Middle East, Asia & Chinese Studies.
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