The Middle East has emerged as a new theater of U.S.-China great power competition. Today, America’s military presence in the region coupled with its strong diplomatic relationships provide Washington with potential leverage over Beijing. During a crisis or conflict originating in East Asia, Washington could use its military capabilities in the Middle East to hold at risk or even sever the sea lines of communication (SLOCs) linking China to some of its key markets and sources of energy imports.
However, China’s burgeoning presence in the Middle East is eroding this source of leverage. Under the umbrella of what it calls “One Belt, One Road,” Beijing is steadily expanding its political influence and investment footprint around regional maritime chokepoints, including the Suez Canal, the Bab el Mandeb, and the Strait of Hormuz. Commercial entanglement with Beijing could have strategic implications. Specifically, U.S. allies and partners in close proximity to these chokepoints could prove reluctant to allow American forces to operate against China-bound shipping from their territory or through their airspace.
Read the full article on ChinaFile.
More from CNAS
VideoWhat does the US want from China? What is its endgame?
Daniel Kliman appears on a BBC News feature to discuss the state of U.S. policy toward China. Listen to the full conversation and more:...
By Daniel Kliman
Congressional TestimonyHow Corporations and Big Tech Leave Our Data Exposed to Criminals, China, and Other Bad Actors
I. Key Observations and Assessments1 Chairman Hawley, Ranking Member Whitehouse, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss a topic of...
By Kara Frederick
CommentaryHow American Progressives Think About Asian Security
Democrats running for the 2020 U.S. presidential nomination implicitly accept – or at least have not rejected – the premise that the United States’ fate is linked to that of t...
By Van Jackson
ReportsImbalance of Power
In a new report, experts Daniel Kliman, Iskander Rehman, Kristine Lee, and Joshua Fitt evaluate trend lines in the India-China military equation and assess Delhi’s current mil...
By Daniel Kliman, Iskander Rehman, Kristine Lee & Joshua Fitt