In a recent phone conversation between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the former expressed support for the kingdom’s initiatives in climate governance and sustainable development. What is noteworthy was Beijing’s willingness to push its strategic partnership with Riyadh “to a new level”. This move comes after China’s decision to make the UAE its regional base for vaccine production, in a collaboration between Sinopharm and Abu Dhabi’s G42. Is China’s footprint in the Persian Gulf expanding beyond economics? Are health and green initiatives adding to its array of soft power tools in the region and beyond?
Hasan Al-Hasan, Research Fellow, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
Alessia Amighini, Co-Head and Senior Associate Research Fellow, Asia Centre, ISPI
Jackie Armijo, Visiting Professor, New York University Shanghai
Jonathan Fulton, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Zayed University
Alessandro Arduino, Principal Research Fellow, National University of Singapore
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