Abstract:

Based on the literature on strategic hedging and adapted to China’s use of economic diplomacy to serve overall national security objectives for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). We study China’s approach for securing and expanding its interests in the Arabian Gulf. To implement the trade connectivity and infrastructure goals of the Belt and Road Initiative and secure the continuous flow of diverse energy supplies, China needs to strengthen relations with both regional powers of Iran and Saudi Arabia, without alienating either of them or the regional hegemony of the United States. The resulting strategic hedging strategy is based on the Chinese approach to economic diplomacy. Which uses Chinese commercial actors in the service of national strategic goals. Relations require careful and sustained management if China wants to achieve results that benefit all parties while avoiding becoming embroiled in intractable geopolitical problems in the region.

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