Domestic Politics as Fuel for China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative: The Case of the Gulf Monarchies
China’s involvement with the Gulf monarchies has been built upon an economic foundation. With the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) this has expanded, as the Gulf monarchies see cooperation with China through MSRI projects as a means of advancing economic development programs necessary to move beyond single-resource rentier economies and relationships with external powers as a means of ensuring their security in an unstable region. This has important implications for the shape of the MSRI as a whole, and how it fits together with the larger BRI. China’s BRI/MSRI success with participating states will be a matter of matching their specific domestic needs and strategic considerations with Chinese perceptions of the relative importance of those states.
*****This publication originally appeared in Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 29, No. 122 (March), pp. 175-190 (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10670564.2019.1637566). Copyright remains with the original holder.