The China Model's Middle East Appeal

Analyzing Middle Eastern states’ perceptions and emulation of a China model and China’s changing presentation of its model to appeal to target countries.

Today, most Middle Eastern states seek to emulate at least some aspects of China’s model of economic, social, and political organization. China’s path has produced decades of strong economic growth and relative social quiescence under the firm guidance of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The CSIS Middle East Program seeks to offer timely analysis of how Middle Eastern elites perceive and seek to emulate a China model; what states find both appealing and cautionary about the prospect of seeking to follow the Chinese path; and how China tailors its presentation of what the China model offers to fit the needs and desires of individual target countries. In particular, we will explore how states evaluate the Chinese proposition—both its economic and security aspects—and how they weigh that proposition against the Western commitment to support multilateral architectures for economics and trade, as well as a commitment to assist governments against foreign threats.

The Middle East Program will release findings in fall of 2023.