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Series: Global China
General view of Brazil's President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seat during the BRICS Business Forum at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Fujian province on September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Fred Dufour/Pool - RC1EB86E2590

Global China: Regional influence and strategy

Learn more about Global ChinaChina now touches virtually every region in the world — how is China’s increasing involvement impacting South Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and elsewhere?

The papers in this installment of the “Global China: Assessing China’s Growing Role in the World” project explore China’s efforts to expand its influence across different geographic regions, as well as implications of those efforts for the United States and for international order.

China’s maturing relationship with the diverse nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, driven primarily by economic security interests, is facing new challenges as the struggling region copes with an intensifying wave of economic, public security, and public health crises.

When it comes to global aspirations, China and Brazil have historically been in sync on their critiques of the liberal international order, if not on their preferred remedies. Since President Jair Bolsonaro assumed office in January 2019, this historical pattern has been upended.

China’s focus on and presence in Afghanistan has grown significantly over the past decade. However, the original emphasis on economic relations has been eclipsed by China’s security agenda in the country.

Washington’s narrative that Chinese activities in Central Asia are, on balance, damaging to the interests of those countries misses important points about leverage, development, and U.S. interests in the region.

The tight control of the narrative on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by both China and Pakistan and a lack of transparency on its terms prevents proper accountability of the venture.

China has significantly expanded its engagements in the Indian Ocean region over the past three decades, raising fears among American and Indian strategists that its growing naval presence might provide it with meaningful military advantages far from its shores.

China’s growing presence in Djibouti has thrust unprecedented attention upon the little-known African port nation and made it a touchstone in the debate over Beijing’s expanding global aims.

A power vacuum left by a disengaged United States and a weakened Europe has created an opening for powers like China and Russia to expand their influence across North Africa.

Great power competition between the United States and China, should it arise in full force, would change the face of Middle Eastern affairs.

Saudi Arabia values its relations with China, but it is well aware of their limits. Beijing will not replace Washington in Riyadh’s worldview, even if U.S.-Saudi relations falter in the next administration.

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