China's foreign policy towards the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula region, 1949-1999
This study attempts to fill an important gap which exists in the literature on the People’s Republic of China's foreign policy - China's relations with the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula countries. It provides a detailed description of China's policy towards the region from the time of the establishment of the PRC in late 1949 to the end of the twentieth century, by focusing on the factors that shaped China's foreign policy and its objectives. The researcher draws upon the neo-realist theory arguments and assumptions in explaining China's foreign policy towards the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula region, particularly the impact of external factors in shaping states' foreign policies. The major argument of the study is that two main factors have been most salient in shaping China's foreign policy towards the region. The first factor has been China’s relations with both the United States and the Soviet Union, which very much shaped China's foreign policy towards the region throughout most of the Cold War era. The second factor is China's drive to increase its economic capability by fostering strong economic ties with the countries of the region, particularly after becoming a net importer of oil in 1993. The researcher finds that these two factors have directed China’s foreign policy towards the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula region throughout the first half-century of the PRC's interactions with the countries of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula region.