GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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China’s Role in the Security Arrangements in the Gulf:An Arab Perspective
Paper Proposal Text :
This paper focuses on the possibilities of China's contribution to the security arrangements in the Gulf region independently or at the regional, and international levels, bearing in mind that China for decades avoided playing any role in any security arrangements in the Gulf region, as it has refused to join the Western-Arab Alliance in January 1991 that liberated Kuwait; it also condemned the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003. China recently resisted huge pressure from both Russian and Syrian governments to participate in the Russian military campaign in Syria, and it also refused to join any Western or other alliance to combat terrorist groups in the Middle East. At the same time the Gulf Arab states leaders have been urging China to play a role in the security arrangement of the region, calling on Beijing not to limit its relations with the GCC countries in trade and economic cooperation only.
This paper addresses two major issues which are: is China willing to play a role in security arrangement of this strategic important region for China and world, or it will continue to adhere to its traditional foreign policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and resist any trends inside and outside China to persuade it to play such role in the region? This writer argues that there are quiet internal changes in defense and security, foreign, policies of China during the last two years. These changes may pave the way for China's participation in some military arrangements in certain important areas in the world, including the Arabian Gulf. For example, The "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative will force China to play certain security role to guarantee stability along the built and road lines. Another indicator that shows China's willingness to play a security role abroad is, National People’s Congress of China passed National Security Law of China on July 1.2015, and a few months later the same institution passed Counter- terrorism Law of China on 27/12/2015. Both laws make it legal for China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) to get involved in military and anti-terrorism operations abroad. These new laws allow PLA for the first time in its history to carry out military operations outside the borders of China. However China is already in negotiations with some countries such as Djibouti to set up a naval logistic center.
However, China’s Arab policy paper, which was issued on 13 January 2016, disclosed for the first time in an official document related to the Arab countries it is readiness to participate in the security arrangement in the region, the paper said “strengthen cooperation in seeking common development and promoting regional peace, and echo each other in building a new type of international relations, so as to safeguard state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and to promote stability, economic development and well-being of our peoples.”
These are some indicators and developments monitored by the writer may indicate some changes in China military and security as well as foreign policies that can lead China to participate somehow in international or regional security arrangements including the Arabian Gulf region. This paper aims to address a few questions such as, to what extend China may take role in the security arrangement in the Gulf region? What are the possible scenarios in this direction? Or despite China’s growing interest in the Gulf region it will continue to adhere to its traditional foreign policy and avoids playing any security role in the Arabian Gulf? In the atmosphere of declining of the strategic trust between the GCC countries and the United States, can China respond positively to the GCC demands to participate in the security arrangement in the region? Finally this writer believes that in case China continues ignoring the voices that urge it to play such an important role, GCC countries do not have any other option but to follow the South Korean model in which South Korea promotes economic partnership with China, and at the same time maintain a strategic security partnership with the United States.