Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

The Challenge of Implementing the Belt and Road Initiative in the Middle East: Connectivity Projects under Conditions of Limited Political Engagement

  • Yoram Evron (a1)

Abstract

Sceptics query China's economic and political ability to realize its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Less attention has been paid to BRI's implications for one of the defining features of China's foreign policy: low engagement in areas beyond its traditional sphere of influence. The Middle East is such a case. Addressing this issue, the article explores the mutual impact of China's low political involvement in the Middle East and BRI's realization. Distinguishing cross-border connectivity projects from other BRI-associated activities, the article examines the challenges to executing BRI-related projects in Israel. It finds that realizing connectivity projects – the essence of the BRI vision – will require China to increase its regional engagement, a shift that it has so far avoided.

有批评人士质疑中国实现 “一带一路” 倡议的经济与政治实力。然而,鲜有人关注 “一带一路” 倡议对下述中国外交特征的影响,即中国外交对于其传统影响力之外的地区介入甚少。中东地区即属此例。针对这一现象,本文将着力探讨中国对中东事务的有限参与和实现 “一带一路” 倡议之间的相互影响。作者在区分跨境 “互联互通” 项目和其他 “一带一路” 相关项目基础上,分析在以色列推进 “一带一路” 有关项目将会面临的挑战。作者认为,要想实现作为 “一带一路” 愿景核心的 “互联互通” 工程,未来中国需要更多地参与中东事务。不过,迄今为止中国仍在避免调整其传统中东外交政策。

Copyright

References

Hide All
Alterman, Jon B., and Garver, John W.. 2008. The Vital Triangle: China, the United States, and the Middle East. Washington, DC: CSIS.
Ashkenazi, Avi. 2012. “Madrichei magav he'eviru kurs commando lasinim” (Border Police trainers held a commando course for the Chinese). Maariv, 8 August.
Barkat, Amiram. 2013. “No justification for Eilat rail link and Int'l airport.” Globes, 26 February, http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-1000825669. Accessed 26 February 2017.
Ben-David, Amir. 2013. “Halevy warns against China involvement in railway to Eilat.” YNET 10 April, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4436634,00.html. Accessed 2 July 2014.
Ben-Gedalyahu, Dubi. 2015. “China to be Israel's biggest infrastructure partner.” Globes, 29 April, http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-china-becoming-israels-biggest-infrastructure-partner-1001031690. Accessed 8 August 2016.
Benari, Elad. 2013. “Bennett: the Chinese don't care about the ‘occupation’.” Arutz Sheva, 7 December, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/169817#.U9-AKOOSyxp. Accessed 11 August 2014.
Calabrese, John. 2013. “China and the Arab awakening: the cost of doing business.” China Report 49(1), 523.
Campbell, Charlie. 2016. “China's Xi Jinping talks up ‘One Belt, One Road’ as keynote project fizzles.” Time, 18 August, http://time.com/4457044/xi-jinping-one-belt-one-road-BRI-south-china-sea-economic-trade-business/. Accessed 19 January 2017.
Clarke, Michael. 2017. “The Belt and Road Initiative: China's new grand strategy?Asia Policy 24, 7179.
Djankov, Simeon. 2016. “The rationale behind China's Belt and Road Initiative.” In Djankov, Simeon and Miner, Sean (eds.), China's Belt and Road Initiative: Motives, Scope, and Challenges. Washington, DC: Peterson Institute for International Economics, 610.
Dryshpitz, Shurik, Barnea, Shlomit and Kenig, Ofer. 2011. Yetzivut memshalot – niyar avoda (Governments Stability – A Working Paper). Jerusalem: The Israel Democracy Institute.
Ehteshami, Anoushiravan. 2018. “The One Belt, One Road in China's grand strategy.” In Ehteshami, Anoushiravan and Horesh, Niv (eds.), China's Presence in the Middle East: The Implications of the One Belt, One Road Initiative. Oxon: Routledge, 192209.
Eisenman, Joshua, and Stewart, Devin T.. 2017. “China's New Silk Road is getting muddy.” Foreign Policy, 9 January, http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/09/chinas-new-silk-road-is-getting-muddy/. Accessed 14 January 2017.
Evron, Yoram. 2013. “Between Beijing and Washington: Israel's technology transfers to China.” Journal of East Asian Studies 13(3), 503527.
Evron, Yoram. 2016. “Can China participate in Middle East stabilization efforts by supporting regional connectivity?” Asia Pacific Bulletin 363, 6 December, http://www.eastwestcenter.org/system/tdf/private/apb363.pdf?file=1&type=node&id=35906. Accessed 6 December 2016.
Famularo, Julia. 2012. “Erdogan visits Xinjiang.” The Diplomat, 14 April, http://thediplomat.com/2012/04/erdogan-visits-xinjiang/. Accessed 7 February 2017.
Feitelson, Eran. 2013. Harakevet le'eilat: bhinat hegionut haproyekt (The Train to Eilat: Examination of Project Rationality). Jerusalem: Shasha Center for Strategic Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Gilad, Assaf, and Urbach, Meir. 2010. “Ha'hi-tech Israeli – haiyum sini: hahevrot shetzrichot lahshosh” (Israeli high-tech – Chinese threat: the companies that should be concerned). Calcalist, 8 December.
Henderson, Simon. 2015. “Israel–GCC ties twenty-five years after the first Gulf War.” The Washington Institute – Policy Analysis, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/israel-gcc-ties-twenty-five-years-after-the-first-gulf-war. Accessed 22 November 2016.
Hirschauge, Orr, and Jones, Rory. 2016. “Israel builds railway in hope of boosting commerce with Arab neighbors.” Wall Street Journal, 22 June, https://www.wsj.com/articles/israel-builds-railway-in-hope-of-boosting-commerce-with-arab-neighbors-1466614190. Accessed 5 February 2017.
Hu, Weijia. 2016. “Combining FTA Strategy with Belt and Road Initiative will boost China's trade situation.” Global Times, 6 January, http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/962249.shtml. Accessed 3 August 2016.
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2015. “Israel joins the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” 31 March, http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2015/Pages/Israel-joins-AIIB-31-March-2015.aspx. Accessed 27 July 2016.
Israel Prime Minister's Office. 2013. “Divrei rosh hamemshala Netanyahu vesar ha'huts shel sin Wang Yi bepetach pgishatam” (Prime Minister Netanyahu's and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi's addresses before their meeting), 18 December, http://www.pmo.gov.il/MediaCenter/Events/Pages/eventwang181213.aspx. Accessed 2 July 2014.
Israel Prime Minister's Office. 2014. “PM Netanyahu's remarks to the foreign press,” 16 January, http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Speeches/Pages/speechlaam160114.aspx. Accessed 3 August 2016.
Jia, Cui. 2015. “IS recruits Xinjiang residents.” Renmin wang, 11 March, http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0311/c90882-8860966.html. Accessed 30 October 2017.
Kahana, Ariel. 2014. “Hakalkala haisraelit magia lamdinot hamitpathot” (Israeli Economy Reaches the Developing States). NRG, 22 May, http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/580/699.html. Accessed 2 July 2014.
Katz, Israel. 2016. “Chinese acquisitions of transportation infrastructures in Israel.” Unpublished presentation at the conference Development of China–Israel Relations in Areas of Infrastructures, Innovation, and Finance, The Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv, 3 March.
Kennedy, Scott, and Parker, David A.. 2015. “Building China's ‘One Belt, One Road’.” Critical Questions, 3 April, https://www.csis.org/analysis/building-china%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cone-belt-one-road%E2%80%9D. Accessed 18 January 2017.
Li, Shaoxian. 2014. “Amid turmoil, the Middle East is reshaping.” Contemporary International Relations 24(4), 5658.
Li, Weijian. 2014. “Shilun zhongdong waijiao dui yu Zhongguo tese daguo waijiao de yiyi” (On the significance of Middle East diplomacy for China's great power diplomacy). Xiya Feizhou 5, 7890.
Lichtman, Moshe. 2014. “Tnuva sale could perpetuate its monopoly.” Globes, 11 May.
Lu, Peng, and Zhifen, Li. 2014. “Yiselie fankong daji celüe dui Zhongguo fankong de qishi” (Anti-terrorism operation of Israel and its inspiration to the Chinese anti-terrorism cause). Kexue jingji shehui 32(135), 9598.
Morag, Gilad. 2014. “Netanyahu: Israel lo mehuyevet le'emdot amerikaniot” (Netanyahu: Israel Is Not Committed to American Positions). YNET, 28 January, http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4482232,00.html. Accessed 2 September 2014.
NDRC (People's Republic of China, National Development and Reform Commission). 2015. “Vision and actions on jointly building Silk Road economic belt and 21st-century maritime Silk Road,” 28 March, http://en.ndrc.gov.cn/newsrelease/201503/t20150330_669367.html. Accessed 19 January 2017.
Niu, Xinchun. 2014. “An analysis of China's interests in and influence over the Middle East.” Contemporary International Relations 24(1), 3758.
Pan, Guang. 2013. “Ou Ya dalu fudi jiduan yu kongbu zhuyi zuzhi fazhan taishi ji dui Zhongguo de weixie,” (The development of extremist and terrorist organizations in the hinterland of Eurasia and the threats to China). Guoji zhanwang 5(5), 8998.
Pantucci, Raffaello. 2016. “How new is the ‘Belt and Road’?” China Policy Institute: Analysis, 7 October, https://cpianalysis.org/2016/10/07/how-new-is-the-belt-and-road/. Accessed 28 October 2016.
Schweller, Randall L., and Xiaoyu, Pu. 2011. “After unipolarity: China's visions of international order in an era of U.S. decline.International Security 36(1), 4172.
Scobell, Andrew, and Nader, Alireza. 2016. China in the Middle East: The Wary Dragon. Santa Monica: RAND.
Scott, Emma. 2014. “China's Silk Road Strategy: A foothold in the Suez, but looking to Israel.China Brief 14(19), 10 October, 11–12, https://jamestown.org/program/chinas-silk-road-strategy-a-foothold-in-the-suez-but-looking-to-israel/. Accessed 28 October 2016.
Shichor, Yitzhak. 1994. “Hide and seek: Sino-Israeli relations in perspective.” Israel Affairs 1(2), 188208.
Summers, Tim. 2018. “Rocking the boat: China's ‘Belt and Road’ and global order.” In Ehteshami, Anoushiravan and Horesh, Niv (eds.), China's Presence in the Middle East: The Implications of the One Belt, One Road Initiative. Oxon: Routledge, 2437.
Sun, Degang. 2012. “Zhongguo zai zhongdong kaizhan woxuan waijiao de dongyin fenxi” (On the Dynamics of China's Mediation Diplomacy in the Middle East). Guoji zhanwang 6, 1431.
Sun, Degang, and Zoubir, Yahia H.. 2014. “China's response to the revolts in the Arab world: a case of pragmatic diplomacy.” Mediterranean Politics 19(1), 220.
Sun, Degang, and Zoubir, Yahia H.. 2015. “China's economic diplomacy towards the Arab countries: Challenges ahead?Journal of Contemporary China 24(95), 903921.
Tian, Wenlin. 2016. “‘Yidai yilu’ yu Zhongguo de Zhongdong zhanlue” (‘One Belt One Road’ and China's Middle East strategy). Xiya feizhou 2, 127145.
Tuerxun, Guliazhati. 2015. “Yiselie fankong jizhi ji qi dui woguo de qishi” (Israeli anti-terrorism mechanism and its enlightenment to China). Xinjiang jingcha xueyuan xuebao 35(4), 1012.
Wang, Zhen. 2016. “The role of economic cooperation in the transition of China's Middle East policy.China Forum (Spring), 5767.
Wei, Zhong, and Yu, Fu. 2010. “China's foreign strategy: constantly deeping and broadening.” Contemporary International Relations 20(2), 7995.
Williams, Dan. 2012. “Israel plans Red-Med rail link to take Suez overflow.” Reuters, 29 January, http://www.reuters.com/article/israel-railway-idUSL5E8CT0CN20120129. Accessed 26 July 2016.
Wolff, Peter. 2016. China's ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative – Challenges and Opportunities. Bonn: German Development Institute.
Wu, Xiaofang. 2015. “Yi nianle,’yisilan guo’ yijiu zai na'er” (After one year, the ‘Islamic State’ is still there). Shijie taishe 13, 4447.
Wu, Xingyan, and Shaoxian, Li. 2016. “Zhongguo yu zongdong guanxi fazhan de yiyi ji qianying” (The significance and prospect for the relations between China and the Middle East). Zhongguo touzi 5, 2225.
Xiao, Xian. 2016. “The ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ and China–Israel relations.” Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (in Asia) 10(3), 123.
Yan, Shenghe. 2014. “‘Yisilan guo’ weihe laishi xiongxiong” (Why does ISIS pose a menace?), Guangming ribao, 1 September.
Yerushalmy, Shalom. 2016. “Israel Katz hafach leba'al habait ha'amity shel halikud” (Israel Katz has become the Likud's actual boss). NRG, 17 August, http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/814/073.html. Accessed 15 January 2017.
Zhang, Huijun. 2013. “Zhongguo dui zhongdong zhengce meiyou bianhua, dan lidu zai jiaqiang” (China's Policy on the Middle East has not changed, but the intensity is strengthening), Shijie taishi (November), 4446.
Zhang, Qianhong (ed.). 2016. Yiselie lan pishu: Yiselie fazhan baogao (2016) (Israel Blue Book: Annual Report on Israel's National Development (2016)). Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press.
Zhao, Guoye. 2007. “Yiselie jingwei gongzuo tedian tanxi” (The characteristics of Israel's security work). Wujing xueyuan xuebao 23(3), 3537.
Zhou, Hang. 2014. “Testing the limits: China's expanding role in the South Sudanese Civil War.” China Brief 14(19), 47, https://jamestown.org/program/testing-the-limits-chinas-expanding-role-in-the-south-sudanese-civil-war/. Accessed 28 October 2016.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed