China’s Relations with Arab Gulf States order

China’s Relations with Arab Gulf
Prof. Golam Mostafa,
College of Security and Global Studies
Author’s Description
Following the author’s perspectives, he has the realist
ideological view of international relations. He believes in
the fact that power is tantamount regarding the actors of
the agreed relations. China for instance is seen to be a
superpower and as a result seen outstanding despite the
fact that both the GCC and the Chinese Nation depend
on each other. The feature of China being a superpower
contributes most on the motif of the GCC coming into
relations with China as a country
Background of the author
Prof. Golam Mostafa acquired his Ph. D in the year 1993 in Political Science having majored
in International Relations & Comparative Politics from Carleton University, Canada. He
studied his undergraduate AND masters degrees in Kiev State University in Ukraine (1980). He
has a 35 years experience in teaching Research and administrative courses in diverse
countries. He has a profile of having taught 30 courses in undergraduate and postgraduate
studies. He has acquired a “Best Teacher” award due to his proper working with students. He
became part of the UAE in the spring of the year 2014 and He has been teaching courses
regarding Diplomacy and more so Security studies. He has also been the Vice-President of
Academic Affairs as an administrative role. He is also a researcher having published a book,
several monographs alongside presenting papers in over 30 national besides international
1) Introduction
The growth of China economically has taken the last four decades through trade. It has
mingled with the Gulf Cooperation Council for a short but productive interval. The
relations existing between China and the States in the Arab Gulf are regarding trade.
The relations have broad economic impacts on both economic and geo-political
aspects. The major interest of the paper is to find out the interests of China in the
investments they have established in the Gulf Cooperation Council. China and Beijing
seem to have different intentions in that the target of Beijing is to come up with a
strategy of being entailed in the infrastructural sectors like communication and nuclear
energy. China is majored towards the security sectors alongside the marketing arena
thus competing with America. The Arab states individually took a step of establishing
relations with China with Kuwait as the first state to do so in the year 1971. the second
state became Beijing in 1978 under the leadership of the Sultanate of Oman as other
states of the Gulf Cooperation Council joined later.
Relevance of the China-Arab Gulf
Relations to China
a. . China benefits from the relations Arab Gulf States by attaining over 50% of the oil supply
from Saudi Arabia alongside the oil and gas energy needs.
b. Saudi Arabia is outstanding in the GCC because of the fact that it has the largest
economy as compared the others. It is also a member of the G-20 thus considered by
China as a strong kingdom to form an alliance.
c. Saudi Arabia has the powers to determine the oil prices which is a fundamental factor to
be considered by China thus creating proper trade relations for their benefits in the
Global Market regarding its membership with OPEC.
d. The “One China” policy recognized and adopted by the GCC States is fundamental in
their foreign policy and more so diplomacy and hence very significant in China.
e. The Gulf Policy of China allows it to fit in One Belt One Road project which links Asian and
European Trade
f. The GCC countries have always participated in the support of China Initiated Institutions
like OBOR for infrastructure development. I.E All GCC countries are members of the Asia
Infrastructure Investment Bank except Bahrain which is a prospective member.
Significance of China to GCC
a) The growth of China into a superpower has increased the import rate thus
maximizing the GCC sales
b) China has established a sense of trust by the GCC states as subject to the neutrality
policy, non-intervention and more so non-interference into others’ domestic affairs
c) The interactions between China and the GCC have been boosted following the
status of China as a superpower and as a result China being a trustworthy partner of
the GCC in terms of reliability as a distant neighbor
d) China is seen to ignore the political and military controversies that may have existed
in the past governments of GCC states and thus finds it easy to deal with all the
states in the region
e) The way of life of the GCC states has been criticized by the United States but China
has never come into conflicts with the GCC thus being tolerated in the region
2) Trade, Economic and
Institutional Relations
China’s primary objective is increasing its exports to all the GCC states and that is why they
decided to establish relationship policies with the GCC. The investment of China in the GCC
has been in the transport and communication sector. More so, China has concentrated in
development of institutions cutting across their political, cultural and more so strategic
sectors. An example of an established institution is the China Arab States Cooperation.
Another institutional agreement is the Free Trade Agreement signing allowing 22 GCC states
to meet in a period of two years. There has been an improved cooperation in terms of the
banking and financial sectors between the affiliations of China and the GCC. All the
cooperation are set to be achieved through a friendly environment established between
China and the GCC.
a) China-Saudi Relations
The relations of China and Saudi emanate from the fact that Saudi Arabia is a vast oil
reserve in the gulf region. Their relationship can be traced from the GCC region. The
emergence of the communist revolution in 1949 in China cut off after existing in the ancient
silk road era. The turning point of their relations took place in 1990 whereby Diplomatic
Relations were established. The presidents of the two countries visited each other in the
year 2016 and 2017 as a sign of cementing their established relationship.
b) China UAE Relations
The United Arab Emirates have a connection that originates from the fact that the UAE is
the market for the goods produced in China. There have been increments in the level of
trade that existed from the year 2000 onwards. The UAE has always been on the forefront in
importing the produced goods from China. Regarding the trade that existed and still exists
in the UAE and China, China also imports oil products from the Arab Emirates thus
balancing their cooperation. In conclusion of the UAE, China relations, their trade and
investment is constructed on a very solid foundation.
c) China-Kuwait Relations
The diplomatic relations of Kuwait and China established their diplomatic relations in the
year 1971 thus supporting the inclusion of China into the United Nations can be realized that
China had established powerful relations with Saudi Arabia and UAE other than . Kuwait has
plans to expand their affiliations with China at trade and investment multi levels.
d) Qatar China Relations
The relations between China and Qatar can be traced from way back 1971 whereby
Qatar attained their independence and a congratulatory later was sent to them by china
thus expressing their interest and thus they officially initiated their relations in 1988. their
relations are derived from the fact that Qatar is a major supplier of natural gas.
e) Relations of China with Oman and Bahrain
The associations between China and Oman exhibit a new pragmatic foreign policy shift
from the old foreign policy perceptions. The Oman were great supporters of Marxist Leninist
Rebels. Trade between them increased in the year 2014 from the initial 10 billion in 2010 to
24 billion in 2014.
e) China Bahrain Relations
The cold war politics of Bahrain delayed the establishment of their relations as subject to the
cold war politics at that time in Manama. The growth of the trade and investment between
the two countries cemented their relations. There was an increment in the exports and
imports as per the 2015 Bahrain Chamber of commerce report. A China Bahrain committee
was formed to care of trade and investment relations.
3) Strengths and Weaknesses of the paper
The strength of the paper is that it outlined the China-GCC relations citing all the GCC
States, the only weakness that comes out clearly from the reading. The Author seems to
glorify some of the GCC states like Saudi Arabia amongst others outlining that they are
stronger than the others like Oman and Bahrain. It creates a feeling that some of the states
are superior while others are inferior. The ones which feel inferior are therefore morally
From a general view, the paper is on point in both the theoretical and more so ideological
orientations. It has what it takes to address the international Relations Perspectives having
emphasized on Power theory. The Realist point of view is included having China as a
superpower and the GCC states also being powerful on their line of resources.
4) Conclusion
History has it that China has related with the GC states without any exception. The
advantage that the GCC states have is that they are naturally dominated with oil
products thus making them powerful economically. Several institutions were created for
the betterment of the sustainability of their relations. Some of the challenges
encountered in the China-GCC relations are inclusive of their consensus and more so
capacity building strategies being still weak. There has been lack of a cohesive
institutional framework thus leading to the arise of conflicts at all costs. China has not
been stable to influence the adoption of their culture in the GCC states.