Pakistani Poker: Playing Saudi Arabia Against China

Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Pakistan, called on Imran Khan, prime minister-in-waiting (Twitter)

by James M. Dorsey Desperate for funding to fend off a financial crisis fuelled in part by mounting debt to China, Pakistan is playing a complicated game of poker that could hand Saudi Arabia a strategic victory in its bitter… Continue Reading  

Saudi and Emirati Stakes in China’s Ascendancy

Xi Jinping and Mohammed bin Salman

by Giorgio Cafiero and Bridgett Neff Although the United States remains an extremely powerful force in the Middle East, the strategically flawed and disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the financial crash of 2008, and the chaotic fallout… Continue Reading  

Middle Eastern Black Swans Dot China’s Belt and Road

Xi Jinping (Kaliva via Shutterstock)

by James M. Dorsey  If any one part of the world has forced China to throw its long-standing foreign and defense policy principles out the window and increasingly adopt attitudes associated with a global power, it is the greater Middle East,… Continue Reading  

China Drafts Restrictions for All Religions

Hui Muslims in China (TonyV3112  via Shutterstock)

by James M. Dorsey China intends to extend aspects of its crackdown on Islam in the north-western province of Xinjiang to all religions as is evident from the publication of proposed restrictive guidelines for online religious activity. The guidelines, according to… Continue Reading  

Central Asians Cautiously Chart Course Independent of China

Nursultan Nazarbayev

by James M. Dorsey China’s brutal crackdown in its north-western province of Xinjiang and growing questions about the dark side of some of its Belt and Road investments is fueling anti-Chinese sentiment, prompting some countries to explore ways to chart… Continue Reading