The world today is in the midst of a potential great power transition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).1 That trend makes China’s rise one of the most critical economic, political, and military phenomena of the twenty-first century. Over the past several years, the United States started to prioritize great power competition with China as the top threat to US national security.2 Increasingly, the United States characterizes China as a revisionist and rival across all functional domains. China also recognizes that strategic competition with the United States is rising.3 In a time of escalating tensions between the United States and China over issues such as economic policies, the East and South China Seas, cyber-espionage, the Belt and Road Initiative, the origins of and response to COVID-19, and China’s influence outside its borders, it is essential to better understand China’s global rise.
In an era of great power competition, how do we understand China’s behavior? Due to insights from international relations theory regarding the potential for war resulting from great power transitions and the increasingly adversarial relationship between the United States and China, an understanding of China’s rise is urgently required. Since China launched economic reform and opening in 1978, its overall power has dramatically increased. As its capabilities grow, what type of rising power is it becoming: a rising competitive power or a cooperative member of international society? Is its behavior converging with international norms or diverging? Is China building an alternative world order? If yes, what are the characteristics of that new order? How does China portray and differentiate itself as a great power? How is it building spheres of influence? This book answers these questions through an in-depth analysis of the understudied topic of China’s relations with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa in the post–Cold War era.
This book argues that although China does not seek to change the international distribution of territory in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, as its power grows, it increasingly builds spheres of influence in these regions and challenges the rules of the international system by constructing an alternative international order to facilitate interactions.4 Although China does not yet seek to replace the existing international order, if the current liberal order unravels or excludes China, this alternative order could serve as the foundation of China’s economic, political, and military relations with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa as well as much of the developing world.5
For this study, the region of the Middle East includes the following twenty countries (in alphabetical order): Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.6 Similar to the definition that many governments around the world use, this book includes Egypt and the African Maghreb countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia in the Middle East region and categorizes all other African countries as part of sub-Saharan Africa.7
There are many reasons to examine China’s rise in these regions. This book strives to fill gaps in both the theoretical and empirical literature regarding China’s global rise to enrich understanding of its behavior to date and provide insights into possible future behavior and the type of alternative international order it is building.
From a theoretical standpoint, scholars of international relations and Chinese foreign policy produce diverse and contradictory insights into the degree to which a rising China will cooperate or compete with the United States in the international system. They also disagree about how much China’s behavior converges with or diverges from international norms. Chapter 2 explores those concepts and debates.
Also, much of the literature analyzing China as a rising power tends to examine its behavior toward the United States or in the Asia Pacific region. Understanding China’s rise in this limited way is no longer adequate because its rise is now global, not regional. Since 2000, China has emerged as a great power and a global actor with interests and ability to exert influence around the world.8 As a result, the need to examine China’s behavior outside Asia is increasingly urgent. This book strives to contribute to the existing theoretical literature by tying an understanding of China’s relations with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa into the broader scholarly debate about China’s global rise in this century.
This book also contributes to the empirical literature on China’s rise. Despite striking developments in China’s relations with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa over the past twenty-five years and the importance of understanding the meaning of these interactions as part of China’s overall rise, analysis of China’s post–Cold War relations with these regions is limited.
China–Middle East relations scholarship is still relatively sparse, although it has been growing.9 Work by Burton, Bianchi, Ehteshami, Horesh, Fulton, Dorsey, Alterman, Scobell, Nader, and Olimat provides significant empirical insights into the current characteristics of China’s relations with specific countries in the Middle East, but they do not tend to speak to broader regional themes or theoretical questions about China’s role or rise in the region. They also do not compare China’s behavior in the Middle East to other regions.
China-Africa relations are also an expanding area of scholarly inquiry.10 Although more is written on China’s relations with sub-Saharan Africa in the post–Cold War era than on its relations with the Middle East, especially during the mid-2000s, the China–sub-Saharan Africa literature is still limited. Many authors such as Alden and colleagues, Lahtinen, Dollar, Hanuaer, Morris, Xing, Farah, Shinn, and Eisenman examine China in Africa as a region across functional areas. That said, they do not tend to address explicitly theoretical questions from broader international relations literature about China’s rise and do not compare sub-Saharan Africa to other regions.
Comprehensive, theory-driven comparison of China’s rising behavior in the Middle East versus sub-Saharan Africa in the post–Cold War era is virtually nonexistent. A few recent books do include analysis of China’s behavior across regions, including the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.11 That said, those books analyze China’s behavior globally, but do not spend extensive time considering China’s role in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa specifically. This book provides a much more detailed comparison of China’s behavior in these two regions. It strives to close these empirical gaps in existing scholarship and tie an understanding of China’s relations with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa into the broader scholarly debate about China’s rise in the twenty-first century.
Another reason for analyzing China’s relations with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa is that it provides an opportunity to compare and contrast China’s behavior toward two regions. Comparing these two regions teases out similarities and differences in China’s behavior. The Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa are both resource-rich regions that have been arenas of past great power competition, specifically between the PRC and the United States, as well as the PRC and the Soviet Union. In light of China’s growing resource needs, especially for oil, natural gas, and industrial minerals, its interactions with both of these regions will likely increase over time. Due to their resource endowments, both regions are potential future areas of conflict between China and the United States, as well as other great powers in an era of global resource scarcity.
This approach also provides an opportunity to examine China’s behavior toward a region where the United States has vital national interests, the Middle East, and a region where the United States does not, sub-Saharan Africa. US vital national interests in the Middle East include the continued flow of energy resources;12 fighting global terrorism, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS);13 preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; and supporting Israel. In sub-Saharan Africa, US interests are more limited. They include energy security, preventing the spread of terrorism (due to failed states and the rise of groups such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, Al-Shabab, and Boko Haram), and public health concerns such as the spread of Ebola and COVID-19.14 Increasingly, US government policy documents also emphasize emerging great power competition between the United States and China in Africa as a policy priority.15
Understanding China’s behavior in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa is also essential because it may further irritate United States–China relations and sour US public opinion of China. For example, US media harshly criticize China’s engagement in both regions. The media, the US government, and nongovernmental organizations often accuse China of neocolonial behavior, supporting states of concern (e.g., Iran, Sudan, Syria, or Zimbabwe), standing in the way of peace in Syria through United Nations Security Council vetoes, and human rights violations in these regions. Especially in an era of increasing tensions between the United States and China, a comprehensive examination of China’s behavior toward these regions is needed to ensure that alarmist media reports or scholarly analysis do not dominate the US domestic political discourse about China’s relations with these regions.
This book also contributes to an understanding of China’s relations with the developing world more broadly. The Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa contain many of the world’s developing countries. Academic analysis of China’s contemporary relations with the developing world is limited.16 Examining China’s relations with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa provides broad insights into China’s behavior as a rising power toward the developing world as a whole.
Finally, examining China’s relations with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa serves as an illuminating case study for understanding its Belt and Road Initiative, a strategic initiative building on decades of its interactions with these regions that aims to facilitate its growth as a Eurasian power across all domains: economic, political, military, and foreign aid.
China is not a newcomer to the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Although its contact with these regions spans hundreds of years, including the ancient Silk Road routes that began over two thousand years ago, the vast majority of interactions have occurred over the past seventy. This book’s emphasis is China’s post-Cold War relations with these regions (1991 to the present), but the very long history of China’s interactions with these regions in many ways shapes today’s relations. China’s Silk Road overland trade routes with the Middle East date back to the Han dynasty in the second century BC. There are also Chinese claims that China’s interactions with Africa date back to that time. During the early Ming dynasty (AD thirteenth to fourteen century), Chinese Admiral Zheng He led many expeditions to both Africa and the Middle East. As a Muslim, he reportedly performed the hajj on one trip. China’s current BRI is an explicit attempt to leverage those historical connections with these regions as well as Central Asia, South Asia, and Europe.
In the Mao era, China supported anticolonial movements and national liberation groups in these regions, provided foreign aid, and sought recognition of the PRC in the United Nations. During the 1980s and 1990s, China’s attention focused inward on economic development and outward to seek sources of foreign direct investment and aid from the developed world for its domestic economy. As a result, China’s interactions with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa became more circumscribed.
After 2000, China reengaged the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, and its relations with these regions expanded to include a vast array of political, economic, foreign aid, and military interactions. Some of the most prominent developments include China’s:
• Rapidly growing trade with, investment in, and overseas development assistance (ODA) to many countries in these regions
• Proactive establishment of two regional organizations outside its territorial perimeter: the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000 and the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) in 2004
• Appointment of three special envoys: the China-Middle East issues special envoy (2002), the China Africa issues special envoy (2007), and the China Syria issues envoy (2016)
• Announcement of China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and Twenty-First Century Maritime Silk Road (2013) later consolidated into the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) (2015)
• Contributions of peacekeeping forces to United Nations peacekeeping operations (UNPKO) missions in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa
• Deployment of Chinese navy ships to the waters off Somalia to participate in antipiracy operations (2008)
• Building a Chinese naval base in Djibouti (2017)
In light of these increased contemporary interactions, how should one interpret China’s rise in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa? What do China’s relations with these regions illuminate about its global foreign policy behavior, ambitions, and approach to the international order?
To understand China as a rising power, the main questions driving this book are: What are China’s interests in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa? Is China cooperating or competing with the United States in these regions? Is China’s behavior converging with or diverging from liberal international norms? Is China building an alternative international order in these regions? If yes, what are the characteristics of that order? How does China portray and differentiate itself as a great power in these regions? How is it building spheres of influence? Ultimately, what does China’s behavior in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa indicate about its rise globally? Based on extensive fieldwork in China, Washington, DC, the Middle East (Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates), sub-Saharan Africa (South Africa) and Europe (Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) and over two hundred interviews, in this book, I analyze China’s interests in and foreign policy approach toward the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa over time to answer those questions.
Empirically, this book is distinctive because it methodically evaluates a wide range of foreign policy tools over time and across functional areas. As opposed to solely examining China’s bilateral relations with countries in the region, I analyze China’s approach toward these regions as a whole. This book is purposely broader in scope than previous studies to provide a deeper understanding of China’s rise. It covers over thirty years of China’s interactions with these regions in a comparative perspective across a range of functional areas—political, economic, foreign aid, and military relations—and is up-to-date with critical developments after the Arab awakening, the rebalance to Asia, increasing tensions between the United States and China, and the COVID-19 pandemic. This book is also unique because it analyzes understudied foreign policy tools in the region (e.g., China’s cooperation forums, special envoys, free trade agreements) and uses China’s behavior in these regions to understand BRI.
The book evaluates China’s post–Cold War (1991–2019) interests and behavior in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past thirty years, China established similar bilateral and multilateral foreign policy mechanisms for interacting with these two regions that allow for a detailed comparison of similarities and differences in China’s approach to the regions. This analysis selected post–Cold War foreign policy tools based on the availability of data that allow a side-by-side comparison of China’s approach toward the regions and specific countries within the regions. They include cooperation forums, special envoys, state support for Chinese companies, foreign aid, free trade agreements, special economic zones, agricultural technology demonstration centers, UN Security Council voting, strategic partnerships, UN peacekeeping operations, conventional arms sales, antipiracy activities, the base in Djibouti, and BRI.17 Many of these foreign policy tools have never been examined in a comparative perspective across these regions. This analytical approach across foreign policy tools over time facilitates understanding when, why, and how China competes or cooperates with the United States and other Western countries and when, why, and how China’s behavior converges with or diverges from international norms.
Of course, there are drawbacks to this macrolevel approach. It glosses over many nuanced aspects of China’s interactions with specific countries. China’s behavior in global organizations in these regions, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization, is underanalyzed. Also, since this study primarily examines state-to-state interactions, it neglects often problematic substate relations and concerns of nonstate actors such as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). That said, there are also immense benefits to a broad macrolevel study. Examining a wide range of foreign policy behaviors over time and across countries and regions helps to avoid the analytical trap of selecting on the dependent variable (e.g., only examining China’s competitive foreign policy behavior and excluding cooperative behavior from the analysis). This analysis provides the opportunity to identify significant changes and consistencies in China’s behavior over time.18 At its core, it seeks to identify long-term patterns in China’s activities to better comprehend its behavior in these regions and globally. Ideally, it will provide insights into possible future trajectories of China’s approach to these regions and China’s overall relation to the international order.
So what are China’s interests in these regions? Is China cooperating or competing with the United States in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa? Is its behavior converging with or diverging from liberal international norms? Why does China’s level of cooperation with the United States and adherence to liberal norms vary across functional areas and regions? Is China building an alternative world order? If so, what are the characteristics of that order? Is it meant to complement or replace the existing order?
This book argues that although China does not seek to change the international distribution of territory in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, as its power grows, it increasingly competes with the United States and the West, challenges the rules of the liberal international system, and builds spheres of influence in these regions. China is constructing an alternative international order to interact with these regions. If the current international system unravels due to actions by China or the United States, this alternative order will serve as the foundation of China’s economic, political, and military relations with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as much of the rest of the developing world. In an era of emerging great power competition, it is both theoretically and practically essential to understand the specific features of that order and how China competes. This book explores the characteristics of that competition and emerging order.
This book advocates for a new approach to understanding China as a rising power toward these regions. As will be demonstrated in later chapters, China’s behavior toward the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa varies dramatically over time, across functional areas, and between regions. In light of its actual conduct, it is not particularly useful to categorize it as merely a revisionist or status quo power. Instead, to understand China’s behavior requires examining its behavior across specific functional areas. Rather than describing China’s behavior as revisionist or status quo supporting, this book uses the concepts of competitive versus cooperative with the United States and norm convergent versus divergent from the liberal international order. It examines China’s behavior across specific foreign policy tools. Chapter 2 elaborates on how the book uses those concepts.
This book attributes changes in China’s behavior toward the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa over time and differences across functional areas and regions to China’s interests. China’s domestic economic and political systems and threat perception in the international environment shape those interests. In many ways, its foreign policy behavior is a reflection of its domestic systems and resulting interests on the international stage.19 As a result, this book argues that the best way to interpret China’s behavior toward the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa is to understand deeply its interests and external threat perceptions over time.
During the post–Cold War era, the degree of China’s competition and norm-divergent behavior has varied widely across functional areas. This book argues that as China’s power grows, it is increasingly competing with the United States economically and politically in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. It is often exhibiting behavior divergent from liberal international norms in the functional areas of politics (e.g., humanitarian intervention, democracy promotion, and human rights), economics (e.g., free markets and the role of the state in the economy), and foreign aid (e.g., aid conditionality). In contrast, it is cooperating with the United States and demonstrating behavior converging with liberal international norms in the military realm by participating in UN peacekeeping operations, multilateral antipiracy activities, and limiting conventional arms sales to countries in these regions. Its perception of the external threats from the United States amplifies its competitive and norm-divergent behavior. Cooperative and norm-convergent behavior is more likely when it perceives that external threats are relatively low.
In the post–Cold War era, China’s domestic political and economic interests have driven differences in its behavior toward the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa between functional areas and over time. China’s domestic state-led capitalist economic system and nationalist, Leninist political system shape its interests. Those interests are acquiring resources and markets to fuel China’s domestic growth; fostering international support in an era of emerging multipolarity; ensuring its domestic stability; advocating for developing country causes based on its own experience as a developing country; safeguarding its citizens and businesses abroad; and protecting its territorial integrity and sovereignty from the United States. Perceived external threats have amplified China’s competitive and norm-divergent behavior in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa in recent years. Since the beginning of the Arab awakening, China has demonstrated escalating sensitivity over foreign interference in the domestic politics of states. It also increasingly perceives that the United States is challenging and attempting to contain China in the Pacific through the Obama era rebalance to Asia and supporting US allies in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. Chapter 3 examines China’s interests and threat perceptions in the post–Cold War era.
In the functional areas of economics and politics directly related to its vital interests, China is establishing institutions outside the liberal international order (e.g., cooperation forums, BRI) and advocating for changes to some norms of the current order. In contrast with its competitive and norm-divergent political, economic, and foreign aid activities, China’s military behavior in the post–Cold War Era is primarily cooperative and norm convergent with the liberal order.
Chapter 2 introduces the analytical approach of the book, and Chapter 3 explores China’s contemporary interests. Next, two in-depth paired cases studies of foreign policy tools illuminate China’s interests and behavior in the post–Cold War era. Chapter 4 examines China’s cooperation forums with these regions: the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation established in 2000 and the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum established in 2004. The chapter also compares the these two forums to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Chapter 5 then compares and contrasts special envoys established by China to address regional issues: the China–Middle East special issues envoy (2002), the China-Africa special issues envoy (2007), and the China Syria special issues envoy (2016).
Next, three functional chapters—economic, political, and military—examine China’s contemporary relations with these regions from 1991 to the present. The economic relations chapter (Chapter 6) focuses on trade, contract services, foreign direct investment, aid, free trade agreement negotiations, special economic zones, and agricultural technology demonstration centers. The chapter on political relations (Chapter 7) examines China’s UN Security Council voting and strategic partnerships. The military relations chapter (Chapter 8) analyzes United Nations peacekeeping operations, antipiracy operations, conventional arms sales, military exchanges, and China’s naval base in Djibouti.
Finally, Chapter 9 analyzes China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The chapter defines what BRI is and how it relates to China’s interactions with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. BRI spans every functional area of China’s international interaction with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. The chapter explores how BRI interacts with the economic, political, and military foreign policy tools examined in chapters 4 to 8. Each chapter of the book categorizes China’s foreign policy behavior as competitive versus cooperative with the United States and norm divergent versus norm convergent with the liberal order.
The concluding chapter (Chapter 10) analyzes these findings over time, across functional areas and between regions to provide insights into China’s rising power behavior in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and globally.
1. I use “potential” because there is much debate about the speed of China’s rise relative to that of other great powers, the endurance of American power, and the probability of China’s economic or political collapse.
2. “National Security Strategy of the United States of America” (Washington, DC: White House, 2017); “Summary of the National Defense Strategy of the United States of America Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge” (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 2018); “Remarks by Vice President Pence on the Administration’s Policy toward China” (Washington, DC: Hudson Institute, October 4, 2018); “Remarks by Vice President Pence at the Frederic V. Malek Memorial Lecture” (Washington, DC, October 24, 2019); and Michael Pompeo, “Communist China and the Free World’s Future,” Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, CA, July 23, 2020.
3. “China’s National Defense in the New Era,” white paper (Beijing: Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 2019).
4. This book is particularly inspired by Gilpin’s arguments regarding power transitions. He argues that a dissatisfied rising power will attempt to change spheres of influence, the rules governing the international system, and the international distribution of territory. See Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).
5. The current liberal international order could unravel in many ways. It could be due to the United States or other great powers abandoning the order or inherent tensions between the liberal order and other norms in the international order, as well as rising nationalism and backlash against globalization and Westernization. If the existing liberal order deteriorates, regardless of the root cause of its destruction, China has built an alternative order to take its place in relations with the Middle East and Africa.
6. I use the term Palestine here because the PRC and the League of Arab States recognize the State of Palestine.
7. For the purposes of this book, Turkey is included in the Middle East due to the strong emphasis of Chinese scholars on Turkey as an important Middle Eastern state. In general, China includes the Middle East as part of West Asia and tends to refer to all of Africa rather than North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. I use the term Middle East because that is how the United States tends to frame the region in its own policy and discourse. Some Chinese scholars use Middle East when writing for Western audiences, but most use the regions of West Asia and Africa.
8. For examples of analysis of China’s increasing global impact, see Andrew J. Nathan and Andrew Scobell, China’s Search for Security (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012); David Shambaugh, China Goes Global: The Partial Power (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013); Thomas J. Christensen, The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power (New York: Norton, 2015); Graham Allison, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017); and David Shambaugh, ed., China and the World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).
9. A limited number of book-length studies examine China’s involvement with the Middle East as a region in the post–Cold War era. Some recent examples include Guy Burton, China and Middle East Conflicts: Responding to War and Rivalry from the Cold War to the Present (New York: Routledge, 2020), Robert Bianchi, China and the Islamic World: How the New Silk Road Is Transforming Global Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019); Anoushivaran Ehteshami and Niv Horesh, How China’s Rise Is Changing the Middle East (Abingdon: Routledge, 2020); Jonathan Fulton, China’s Relations with the Gulf Monarchies (London: Routledge, 2019); James M. Dorsey, China and the Middle East: Venturing into the Maelstrom (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019); James Reardon-Anderson, ed., The Red Star and the Crescent: China and the Middle East (London: Hurst, 2018); Anoushrivan Ehteshami and Niv Horesh, China’s Presence in the Middle East: Implications of the One Belt, One Road Initiative (London: Routledge, 2018); Jon B. Alterman, The Other Side of the World: China, the United States and the Struggle for Middle East Security (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2017); Niv Horesh, Toward Well-Oiled Relations? China’s Presence in the Middle East following the Arab Spring (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016); Andrew Scobell and Alireza Nader, “China in the Middle East: The Wary Dragon” (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2016); Muhamad S. Olimat, China and North Africa: A Bilateral Approach (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014); Muhamad S. Olimat, China and the Middle East since World War II: A Bilateral Approach (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014); and Muhamad S. Olimat, China and the Middle East: From Silk Road to Arab Spring (Milton Park: Routledge, 2013).
10. Some recent examples of in-depth studies of China-Africa post–Cold War relations include Chris Alden, Abiodun Alao, Zhang Chun, and Laura Barber, eds., China and Africa: Building Peace and Security Cooperation on the Continent (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); Anja Lahtinen, China’s Diplomacy and Economic Activities in Africa: Relations on the Move (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); David Dollar, China’s Engagement with Africa: From Natural Resources to Human Resources (Washington, DC: Brookings, 2016); Larry Hanauer and Lyle J. Morris, Engagement in Africa: Drivers, Reactions, and Implications for U.S. Policy (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2014); Li Xing and Abdulkadir Farah, eds., China-Africa Relations in an Era of Great Transformations (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2013); and David H. Shinn and Joshua Eisenman, China and Africa: A Century of Engagement (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).
11. For example, see Shambaugh, China and the World; Christensen, The China Challenge; Shambaugh, China Goes Global; Nathan and Scobell, China’s Search for Security.
12. The United States is rapidly heading toward energy independence due to shale oil and gas technology, but until that potential is realized, access to oil will remain a vital US interest. Even if the United States achieves energy independence, global oil prices will continue to affect it in many ways, including its own consumption and profitability for its producers.
13. Throughout the book, I use the acronym ISIS because that is the predominant term China uses for this group. That said, the United States often refers to it as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the Arabic name for the group is Daesh.
14. For an overview of current United States interests in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, see “National Security Strategy,” 2017.
15. For example, see “Remarks by National Security Advisor Ambassador John R. Bolton on the Trump Administration’s New Africa Strategy,” December 13, 2018.
16. Examples of book-length treatments of China’s post–Cold War relations with the developing world as a whole include Joshua Eisenman and Eric Heginbotham, eds., China Steps Out: Beijing’s Major Power Engagement with the Developing World (New York: Routledge, 2018); Andrew Scobell, Bonny Lin, Howard J. Shatz, Michael Johnson, Larry Hanauer, Michael S. Chase, Astrid Stuth Cevallos, et al. At the Dawn of Belt and Road: China in the Developing World (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2018), Lowell Dittmer and George T. Yu, eds., China, the Developing World and the New Global Dynamic (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2010); and Joshua Eisenman, Eric Heginbotham, and Derek Mitchell, eds. China and the Developing World (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2007).
17. There are many foreign policy tools that China uses that I do not examine in this book—for example, the international division of the Chinese Communist Party and cyber-offensive operations. This study is not meant to cover all foreign policy tools that China uses in its relations with these regions.
18. For a discussion of the dangers of selecting on the dependent variable and ahistorical analysis of China’s foreign policy behavior, see Alastair Iain Johnston. “How New and Assertive Is China’s New Assertiveness?” International Security 37, no. 4 (2013): 7–48.
19. See Kupchan for a discussion of how norms informing hegemonic orders are often derived from the state’s own domestic order and how hegemons replicate their own ordering norms throughout spheres of influence due to their material interests. Charles A. Kupchan, “Unpacking Hegemony: The Social Foundations of Hierarchical Order,” in Power, Order and Change in World Politics, ed. G. John Ikenberry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 25–26.