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The Arab Spring and China's Evolving Middle East Policy

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011

The “Arab Spring” that started early in 2011 has shaken the entire Middle East. Rulers who had reigned for decades have been toppled; power has changed hands; and the few regimes that are resisting changes are still undergoing tumultuous unrest. Beijing has been forced to face the rapidly changing developments and make adjustments both to monitor the potential repercussions at home and to protect its growing commercial interests in the region.

Beijing has responded to the events in the Middle East with tentative policy adjustments aimed at securing domestic stability and minimizing economic losses resulting from the unforseen and sudden events unfolding in the Arab world. It bears noting that there are major differences between the causes of the popular uprising in the Middle East and those driving the increasingly potent social unrest in China. Beijing also retains sufficient resources to dilute, isolate and suppress domestic dissent. ...

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