China's Relations with Arabia and the Gulf, 1949-1999

By Mohamed Bin Huwaidin | Go to book overview

5

China's relations with Iraq, Iran, and Yemen

In the previous chapter, we discussed China's foreign policy toward the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula region in general. We concluded that China's foreign policy toward the Gulf region was a reflection of its relations with the United States and the Soviet Union and China's drive to increase its economic capabilities by deepening its economic and political ties with the countries of the region. In the following two chapters, we are going to survey China's relations with each of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula countries and discuss the different variables that influenced China's foreign policy toward them. We will argue here that China's foreign policy toward each country of the region has been a reflection of China's overall foreign policy in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula region. It is true that China, at certain periods, gave some countries of the Gulf region more attention than others, but this was largely a product of its overall foreign policy towards the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula region. Some countries of the region, at certain times, were seen by the Chinese government as closer to China's view of both superpowers than others. Therefore, the Chinese government would pay more attention to those countries to establish good ties with and try, as much as it could, to pull them away from the influence of either power. On the whole, China might have used different strategies to get closer to the countries of the Gulf region, but its relations with each country in the region had been a reflection of China's overall foreign policy toward the whole Gulf and Arabian Peninsula region. In this chapter, we are going to examine China's bilateral relations with Iraq, Iran, and Yemen. Chapter 6 will examine China's relations with the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.


CHINA AND IRAQ

Chinese-Iraqi relations in the early days (1949-1957)

When the PRC was established in late 1949, Iraq and all Arab League members maintained their diplomatic relations with the Nationalist regime, which had made Taiwan its new headquarters, as the legitimate sole

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