China and the Persian Gulf Policy: Growing Ties



Since China started its economic reforms in 1978, it has achieved remarkable economic growth and development, presenting itself as a rising economic power in the international system. The rapid economic growth has increased China’s energy consumption especially that of crude oil. Before economic reform, China relied on domestic oil resources. However, the trend of ever-increasing oil consumption turned China into a net importer of crude oil to meet the petroleum needs of its industry sector since 1993. As a result, Beijing has established closer ties with the major oil-exporting countries. The main objective of this paper is to analyze the relative position of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and its vast oil resources in China’s Middle East policy. The author examines China’s foreign policy goals, China’s foreign policy toward the Middle East and the status of GCC members in this policy.