Middle East: Who Will Dominate in the Region – A Case of China

Middle East: Who Will Dominate in the Region – A Case of China

Madlein Kotsotsashvili
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3621-9.ch011
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Given the Great Silk Road and other megaprojects, China's position on the world stage in general is expanding. An area where the Sino-US confrontation could create a deplorable situation in the Middle East is China's attempts to introduce new global digital infrastructure and communication standards. The pandemic has affected global consumption and demand volumes. Presumably, China and its partners primarily want to assess the situation, how trade and tourism are changing on the planet in the face of a global pandemic. It is also interesting to see how the countries participating in the One Belt One Road initiative will continue to jointly invest directly in ongoing projects beyond their borders. The aim of the chapter is to assess China's influence based on analysis its policies in the Middle East region and its implemented and planned trade and business projects as well as an assessment of the results we might expect in the long run amid increased competition between global actors in the oil region.
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China's influence in the Middle East has grown over the past decade. It is an important international actor in the oil region against a backdrop of long-term US dominance that is clearly in question. European politicians and experts point to the future security challenges in the Middle East and China's potential role in this project. However, China is particularly wary of the problems in the region, and its goals and vision are vague. It is therefore difficult to determine what impact China's activism may have on the dynamics of ongoing political processes in this difficult region in the medium to long term. The emergence of China in this space has led to an increase in geopolitical competition. Naturally, the Chinese factor should be well understood when assessing their position in Europe and the US Middle East. Europe needs to control China's growing influence on the dynamics of the ongoing political processes in the region, especially in areas such as the arms and surveillance technologies trade.

In this case we can claim that China's main interest in the Middle East is in meeting its growing demand for energy and its One Belt One Road (BRI) initiative. Since 2015, China has been the largest importer of crude oil in the world, with almost half of its demand for energy coming from the Middle East. The Middle East is important for the future of the BRI as a strategically important crossroads of trade and sea routes connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa, intending to engage China at the center of global trade networks. Currently, China's economic relations with the region are directed towards the Persian Gulf countries due to their dominant role in energy markets. Here it is worth saying that the main document of the Chinese government on international cooperation in the economic sphere is aimed at increasing China's influence and greater activity in the Middle East region and its involvement in the one-belt-one-way project (Fulton, 2019). The governments of the oil region countries have the ambition to modernize their states and try to use Chinese technologies and artificial intelligence to build smart city infrastructure, develop health services and introduce renewable energy technologies. Also to acquire modern air military equipment (England and Kerry, 2021).

It is noteworthy that China has long neglected such an important aspect as brand equity. Our research aims to identify the aspects that lead to the creation of Chinese brand capital and to study China as the country of origin of the brand. The research relies on a qualitative approach to understanding the Chinese vision of branding. The results of the research confirmed that a separate Chinese company is working to build a strong brand capital for which it is steadily developing product quality through joint ventures and co-branding. Our analysis confirms that today China, as a country of brand origin, is no longer an obstacle to building strong brand capital. We discussed the two main areas of research - geographical origin and brand value - on the example of Huawei and Lenovo. Research has shown that some Chinese brands are growing steadily and the strategy of many Chinese companies today is already focusing on brand building and believes that this is the way to success and sustainable competitive advantage. This is evidenced by the cases of Chinese technology giant companies, which had a positive impact on the capital of the Chinese brand.

Chinese technology companies are expanding their operations around the world, selecting and favoring them. Their subsequent pattern of behavior will have a significant impact not only on how other companies engage in global markets but also on how the image of Chinese business will acquire in the eyes of the world (Zaagman, 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

MENA: Is a geographical region that unites the countries of the Maghreb and the Middle East. Most of the MENA countries are also part of the larger region called the Great Middle East.

Silk Road: The Silk Road wait is an ancient trade route that links the Middle East and Asia with the Western world. The name “New Silk Road” is used to describe a certain large scale.

Regional Policy: The activities of public authorities, which lead to the socio-economic development of the regions to develop the region's welfare.

Digital Age: A period in human history characterized by a global shift from a traditional industry established by the Industrial Revolution to a digitized, computerized industry based on the transfer of information.

China: The official name of the country is the People's Republic of China (PRC), it is located in East Asia and is considered the world's most populous country since it has a population of more than 1.4 billion.

One Belt One Road: It is the initiative to connect Asia with Africa and Europe through land and sea routes to deepen regional integration, promote trade and stimulate economic growth.

Oil Trade: Is the process of trade connected with the oil business.

Middle East: Transcontinental region centered on Western Asia and Egypt. The region includes the following countries: Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, and Oman.

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