On August 14, 2012, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun launched the inaugural round of the U.S.-China Middle East Dialogue in Beijing. The initiative was driven by China’s increasing activities and assertiveness in the Middle East.[48] China’s shift in policy away from its traditional “non-intervention” stance toward this region is driven by a combination of domestic, regional, and international factors.

Domestic Driver: Shift in China’s Perception of the Middle East 

As stated earlier, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime survival is tied to continual economic growth and delivering improving living standards to the Chinese people. Its “go out” strategy to acquire energy assets abroad since 1993 has driven China to have a more assertive and interventionist stance in its approach to the Middle East.  As its overseas interests continue to expand with China’s rise, the Chinese government has found that it can no longer strictly adhere to its “non-intervention” stance, but needs to be more proactive diplomatically, politically, and militarily in order to protect its interests.

Since the 2003 U.S. intervention in Iraq, China has become more active in pursuing a “counter-encirclement strategy” against perceived U.S. hegemony in the Middle East.[49] Beijing fears that Washington’s Middle East strategy entails advancing the encirclement of China and creating a norm of regime change against undemocratic states, which would implicitly challenge CCP legitimacy at home.[50] In 2004, then Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen blasted U.S. foreign policy in an article published in China Daily. He wrote that the United States has “put forward its ‘Big Middle East’ reform program… [The] U.S. case in Iraq has caused the Muslim world and Arab countries to believe that the super power already regards them as targets for its ambitious ‘democratic reform program.’”[51]According to a 2004 interview with Ambassador Wu Jianmin, a rising star in China’s diplomatic circle, Chinese foreign policy was transforming from “Responsive diplomacy” (Fanying shi waijiao) to “Proactive diplomacy” (Zhudong shi waijiao).[52]  In 2005, Jin Liangxiang, research fellow at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, argued that China was experiencing a new activism and that “the age of Chinese passivity in the Middle East is over.”[53] He declared, “If U.S. strategic calculations in the Middle East do not take Chinese interests into account, then they will not reflect reality.”[54] That same year, President Hu Jintao delivered a message to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on the “New Historic Missions” strategy, which underscores the PLA’s role in safeguarding national interest overseas.[55]

There is also a rising tide of domestic nationalism, with China’s own historic narrative as a victim in the past “century of humiliation” and that the time has come to reassert the Middle Kingdom’s proper place in the world.[56] This plays well in enhancing the CCP’s standing for domestic consumption, especially in view of the upcoming leadership change in the 18th Party Congress in October 2012, which set the course for China for the next eight years until 2020. Xi-Jinping, the next president to replace Hu Jintao, is a princeling and a Maoist, placing strong focus on the PLA’s role in foreign policy. Hu, on the other hand, was a Dengist who was more focused on economic development.  As such, with Xi Jinping at the helm of China’s leadership, he will likely steer China’s foreign policy onto a more active course. 

Regional Drivers: United States’ Asia Pivot and China’s Fear of Encirclement

Chinese leaders and strategists have often lambasted U.S. strategy of encircling and containing a rising China.[57]  China views that its eastern flank is already surrounded by anti-Chinese alliances forged by the U.S. defense treaties with Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand, in addition to defense cooperation with Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia. With the post September 11 War on Terrorism and subsequent stationing of U.S./NATO troops in Central Asia and Afghanistan, China is now encircled by a U.S. military presence to contain its freedom of action.  Air Force colonel Dai Xu, a renowned military strategist, wrote in an article, “China is in a crescent-shaped ring of encirclement. The ring begins in Japan, stretches through nations in the South China Sea to India, and ends in Afghanistan. Washington’s deployment of anti-missile systems around China’s periphery forms a crescent shaped encirclement”.

Map 7: Map of U.S. Strategic Encirclement of China in Eurasia

Fig 8

Source: Laura Canali, “How America Wants to Check China’s Expansion,” Heartland: Eurasian Review of Politics, April 2005

As the United States embarks on its pivot to Asia in order to contain China and it partners with Southeast Asian nations to counter China’s territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea, Beijing is taking counter-encirclement steps. China is doing so by forging partnerships with key pivotal countries with anti-Western sentiments, such as Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey, followed by Egypt. Turkey is especially important given: (1) The combination of its EU/NATO ties with having an Islamist government that is oriented toward the Islamic world; and (2) having one foot in NATO and another foot in the SCO.  As such, it is an important partnering pole in the left flank of the Eurasia continent for China to project its influence on and counter-balance the United States and the West.

Map 8: Sino-Turkey Strategic Partnership and Power Projection

Fig 9

Source:  “China and Turkey: A Partnership to Reshape the World?” Risk Watch Dog, October 25, 2010 

The Chinese have always been wary of Western-sponsored revolutions spreading to Central Asia, because it feared that Xinjiang would follow suit and declare independence from China, just as the Central Asian Republics declared independence from the Soviet Union. Moreover, for many years, the Turkic Uyghurs in Xinjiang enjoyed the protection and sympathetic support of their separatist movement in Turkey.   As such, China is seeking Turkey’s cooperation and reciprocity in respecting Xinjiang as China’s territory in exchange for supporting Turkey’s stance on the Kurds in Turkey. The SCO is thus an effective vehicle through which both could cooperate and expand their influence in Central Asia. 

International Changes: Arab Spring Surprise and Uncertainty in Middle East 

The Arab Spring caught China by surprise, and it suffered great investment losses. These investment ties involved years of building influence and negotiations with previous regimes. The CCP values stability with authoritarian regimes for its infrastructure projects in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. It also fears the West will encourage pro-Western regime changes that are detrimental to Chinese interests. In addition, by voting for UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) and supporting regime change due to human rights abuses, it opens the door for future Western interventions in China over its own human rights abuses (e.g., Tiannamen Square Massacre, Tibet, Xinjiang, etc.). 


In the case of Libya, China perceived that by being complicit with the West via its abstention from UNSCR 1973, it directly contributed to the fall of Qadhafi with disappointing payoffs.  Domestic nationalists criticized the government for “compromising its principles” and “acquiescing to Western demands,” and in the international arena, neither the West nor the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) showed appreciation for China’s abstention.[58] China lost more than $20 billion worth of investments; had to evacuate 36,000 Chinese nationals from Libya; and when Beijing urged NTC to protect its oil interests, it was shocked and humiliated by the public announcement from the Libyan oil company AGOCO that they “don’t have a problem with Western countries, but may have political issues with Russia and China.”[59]  China was unprepared to protect its interests in this scenario. Its perception of gaining nothing while losing everything by acquiescing to the West thus significantly contributed to its subsequent decision to veto the Syrian resolution. 


China perceived it was tricked by Westerners on UNSCR 1973, which NATO exploited to intervene militarily to oust Qadhafi under the fig leaf of Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Beijing has thus taken a harsh stance in Syria via its UNSC veto. Professor Yin Gang, a Middle East expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the veto was an effort to stop the UN from interfering in the domestic affairs of another country.  Yin explained, “Beijing’s concern is also of Syria becoming another Libya… if the UN can do this in Syria, it will do it again to another country in the future, and that is what Chinese leaders are worried about.”[60] Moreover, Beijing wanted to side with Russia to counterbalance U.S. influence in the region.  Professor Xiao Xian, a leading Middle East expert and vice president of the Chinese Association for Middle East Studies, said, “The only explanation for China’s move is that Beijing is seeking closer collaboration with Moscow in order to check and balance the U.S.-led Western alliance’s domination of global affairs.”[61]

In Beijing’s cost-benefit analysis, China’s acquiescence to UNSCR 1973, which resulted in Western military intervention, was a complete loss. According to Yan Xuetong, a prominent Chinese strategist, the West and Arab states did not appreciate China’s effort on Libya and chastised it for not participating in the military campaign. Yan argues, “Regardless of how China votes on Syria, the West will always see China as an undemocratic country with a poor human rights record and the Arab states will always side with the West.”[62] Thus China perceives its veto of the Syria resolution as something that does not fundamentally cost Beijing anything. However, it had much to gain by saving Moscow from international isolation–the joint veto was a powerful demonstration of Sino-Russia diplomatic cooperation to maintain a power balance in the Middle East. More importantly, China fears denial of access to energy sources in regions where Western military interventions prop up pro-Western regimes.

China is also changing to a more nuanced and sophisticated strategy of hedging its interests with current regimes as well as the opposition.  The bitter lesson from its belated and ongoing unstable relationship with the Libyan NTC prompted Beijing to be more proactive in building relations with the Syrian opposition, while simultaneously pursuing a mediation role inside and outside of Syria.[63] As such, in February 2012, China’s Foreign Ministry conducted shuttle diplomacy and dispatched senior delegations to Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority for consultations. It has also become more assertive militarily, sending Chinese warships to the Mediterranean Sea in a “show of flags,” along with Russian naval flotilla presence near Syria.  With so many overseas interests at stake, China is no longer strictly adhering to its non-interference stance.


Henry Kissinger said in the Middle East, there could be no war without Egypt and no peace without Syria.  Well aware of this, China is thus courting Egypt, the cultural center of the Arab world and a geostrategic pivot state controlling the Suez Canal and in close proximity to the Horn of Africa, to further project its influence in the Middle East and Africa.

Sino-Egypt ties date back to the first meeting between Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during the 1955 inaugural NAM meeting in Bandung, Indonesia.  China courted Egypt because it was the most populous Arab country, a center of gravity in the Arab world, and as such backed Egypt’s aspirations to assume a role in representing Africa and the Middle East alongside the five UNSC members.[64]  Egypt is also a leading advocate of greater Sino-Arab cooperation under the auspices of the Arab League as well as enhancing ties between China and the Africa Union.[65]  China also has vast investments in Egypt’s hydrocarbon industry, as well as construction, telecommunications, and agriculture.  Beijing has pursued agreements that enhance China’s direct access to Egyptian port facilities along the Suez Canal through Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa, Ltd, a firm with close ties to the PLA. It has also taken advantage of other economic opportunities in the Suez Canal Zone, further consolidating its “proto-maritime colonialism” stance in controlling and securing influence around the strategic trade and communications choke points across the globe.[66]

China and Egypt have also expanded military cooperation. Significantly, in June 2002, a PLAN fleet representing the North China Sea Fleet crossed the Suez Canal and docked in the port city of Alexandria during its first around-the-world voyage.[67]  In 2005, China’s PLA front company, National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC), also partnered with Egypt’s A.O.I. Aircraft to jointly produce K-8E flight trainers,[68] thus bringing both countries’ defense industries and militaries into a closer relationship. According to a study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, from 1989-2008, China sold more weapons to Egypt than Sudan and Zimbabwe (its traditional clients) combined, making Egypt China’s biggest weapons market in Africa.[69]  The study also observed that U.S. military assistance to Egypt freed up cash for Egypt’s government to then purchase additional Chinese arms. Some analysts are worried that the increased Chinese presence in Egypt, coupled with a Mursi government less loyal to the United States, would give China access to American military technology.[70]

By courting Egypt, China has enhanced its regional influence and has gained a better position to check U.S. power in a region of vital strategic significance.  It is projecting into the part of the world that was a traditional U.S. sphere of influence, just as it perceives the United States as encroaching on its sphere of influence and core interests in the Western Pacific and Central Asia. Likewise, Egypt is seeking to diversify away from its dependence on the United States for military and economic assistance. Mursi hedged his bets by making China its first visit outside of the Middle East, ahead of the United States.  As Saed Lawendy, political expert with the al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies said to Xinhua, “The president believes the economy is the fuel oil that moves the international political truck forward, for that reason he headed to China which is the second powerful economy in the world [sic].”[71] 


As U.S. influence begins to wane in the Middle East and pivots, or “rebalances,” toward the Asia Pacific, China is seizing a strategic window of opportunity to fill the growing vacuum and attempting to shape a post-Arab Spring region that is more hospitable for China’s power projection capabilities. A rising power with expanding interests, China will become more proactive in the Middle East and North Africa. Beijing also needs continued market access both for extraction of strategic mineral resources as well as export markets to fuel its ever-expanding war chest. As such, the Chinese navy has now entered “NATO Lake” of the Mediterranean Sea to protect its interests. This is an example of an area outside of the Asia Pacific where there is a risk of a potential military clash between the United States and China. In fact, China’s naval ambitions and aircraft carrier even fuelled fear in Great Britain; in the aftermath of Chinese naval vessels having sailed to the Mediterranean to help evacuate its 36,000 citizens in Libya, a Daily Mailarticle was entitled “After Beijing sends a frigate to the Med, a leading author poses a chilling question…how long until a Chinese aircraft carrier sails up the Thames?”[72]

An Expanding Definition of China’s Core Interests 

Despite its economic rise, China is not liberalizing. As John Lee from the Hudson Institute argues, the West holds a seductive belief that authoritarian China will be increasingly integrated into a liberal order and will emerge as a defender of such order. However, China is moving in the opposite direction of what a “responsible stakeholder” in a liberal order ought to be doing.[73] Rather, it is wishing to supplant the U.S.-led post-war liberal world order of the “Washington Consensus” with its own “Beijing Consensus,” based on authoritarian rule for economic development.[74] Beijing has its own definition and rule of the international game. It also has its own historic narrative of payback time as it emerges from its “Century of Humiliation,” which dictates their current behavior. Already, the South China Sea is witnessing an emboldened China.

In July 2012, China’s State Council approved the establishment of a new national prefecture on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, which is disputed territory between Vietnam and China. China’s Central Military Commission announced that it would deploy a garrison of soldiers to guard the Paracel Islands, announced a new policy of “regular combat-readiness patrols” in the South China Sea, and began offering oil exploration rights in locations recognized by the international community as within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.[75] Although China established a new military garrison and unilaterally annexed a disputed area, America’s reaction has been muted.  In a recent Wall Street Journalarticle, Senator James Webb (D-VA) observed that China’s economic power and its assertive use of its navy and commercial vessels to project influence has changed the dynamics in East Asia. He criticized, “In truth, American vacillations have for years emboldened China.”[76]  He added that East Asian allies were “waiting to see whether America will live up to its uncomfortable, but necessary, role as the true guarantor of stability in East Asia, or whether the region will again be dominated by belligerence and intimidation.”

Indeed, allies in the Middle East are watching as well. The muted U.S. responses to China’s clashes with Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines in the Western Pacific and U.S. inaction toward North Korea’s sinking of South Korea’s naval vessel Cheonan in 2010, have negative implications for the credibility of the U.S. security umbrella.

Israel and Gulf Allies Watching U.S. Strategy in East Asia, East Asian Allies Watching U.S. Strategy in the Middle East 

In light of the 2010 North Korean menace in East Asia, Israel and the Gulf allies were watching the U.S. reaction to an ally under attack, as they faced their own Iranian menace in West Asia. Emile El-Hokayem, political editor of The National (UAE) and senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), stated at a July 2010 Wilson Center conference that the Gulf states had their own Taiwan issue. The UAE has disputes over three islands with Iran (see Map 9), and Hokayem said the Gulf States looked at Taiwan as a litmus test for a U.S. security guarantee.[77]  He observed that the Gulf States saw that North Korea sank the Cheonan and the United States did nothing. He questioned whether the U.S. would protect its Gulf allies if they would get involved in a situation in which Iran sank a vessel.  Hokayem said that how the United States treats its East Asian allies has direct relevance for the Gulf States.

Map 9: UAE-Iran Dispute over Three Islands

Fig 10

Source:  Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection

It is also relevant for Israel, as the Israeli press kept a close watch on events unfolding on the Korean Peninsula, since Iran emulates North Korea’s playbook. “Why a brazen N. Korea is Israel’s concern,” “As Iran watches Korea,” and “S. Korea, N. Korea, Israel and Iran” are samples of press titles at the time.[78]  Now, Middle East and East Asian allies are once again watching the U.S. reaction to China’s actions in the South China Sea, as well as Iran’s belligerence against Israel and Gulf allies in the Middle East.

 Credibility of U.S. Security Guarantee and Allied Reassurance

The credibility of the U.S. security guarantee is at a critical crossroads.  The U.S. course of action will have long-lasting ramifications for regional security both in the Middle East and in East Asia. If United States fails to reassure its allies, there will be a loss of confidence in U.S. security umbrella. This in turn will lead to an arms race and increased nuclear proliferation that threatens to destabilize both regions.

Israel is a litmus test of U.S. credibility as a dependable ally, as allies from both Asia and the Middle East watch. U.S. behavior in the Arab Spring in helping to oust Mubarak is already viewed as a betrayal and abandonment of a steadfast ally. East Asian allies are also losing confidence in view of the muted U.S. responses to North Korea’s menace as well as China’s actions in the region.  Both regions are at a nuclear tipping point that will decide to abandon the U.S. security umbrella and embark on a cascade of nuclear proliferation, or retain confidence in the U.S. security guarantee and remain under its nuclear umbrella.

In a 2008 Congressional report entitled “Chain Reaction: Avoiding a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East,” the report concluded that if Iran became nuclear, Egypt, Turkey and especially Saudi Arabia would likely go nuclear.[79] Egypt until now had two means of deterrence from the nuclear weapons path: (1) the peace treaty with Israel; and (2) a security partnership with the United States. However, given the new Muslim Brotherhood leadership that threatens to dissolve the peace treaty and security partnership, Egypt may embark on this path. In 2006, members of the Brotherhood advocated a nuclear weapons program. Its spokesman Dr. Hamdi Hassan said that Egyptians “are ready to starve” to obtain a nuclear weapons.[80] Likewise, Turkey under the Islamist AKP leadership is considering Chinese bids to build nuclear reactors, due to its ability to secure financing without requiring guarantees from the Turkish government.[81] As for Saudi Arabia, it lacks confidence in the U.S. nuclear umbrella. In the 1980s, it secretly procured 50 to 60 CSS-2 missiles from China that could fit nuclear warheads, in addition to financing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas Freeman, disclosed that Saudi officials warned him if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, the Saudis would be compelled to acquire their own deterrent stockpile.[82]

In face of China’s actions in the Western Pacific and the inability of the international community to prevent a nuclear North Korea, the risk for an East Asian regional crossover of the nuclear tipping point is much higher. Three U.S. allies have a prior history of clandestine nuclear weapons programs (e.g., Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan).  In a 2007 CSIS study, the strength of the security alliance was found to be the overriding factor in a state’s choice to seek nuclear weapons.[83] In the case of Taiwan and South Korea, the perception of the decreasing U.S. security commitment has led to a corresponding pursuit of clandestine nuclear programs.[84] In the case of Japan, it considered and rejected the nuclear options four times due to confidence in the U.S. security guarantee: (1) the 1960s due to the 1964 Chinese nuclear test; (2) mid-1970s due to debate on ratifying the NPT; (3) mid-1990s debate on indefinite extension of NPT; and (4) North Korea nuclear crisis when it conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.[85]

However, under the Obama administration, the credibility of the U.S. security guarantee has been eroding.  The muted U.S. responses in face of Chinese actions, a nuclear North Korea’s threats to East Asia allies, a nuclearizing Iran’s threats towards Israel and Gulf allies, is no longer assuring U.S. allies.  As war drums beat in the Middle East, both friends and foes alike are watching–China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, the Gulf, and East Asian allies. Whether the United States chooses to stand with Israel or to let Israel stand alone, will warn others of the credibility of the United States as a guarantor of security and its preponderant power. As Senator Webb penned in the Wall Street Journal, allies are watching to see if the United States will step up to the plate and defend its status as a security guarantor in face of aggression, or will it finally relinquish this title and cede it to the Middle Kingdom to confirm its Sino-centric place in the world.


*Dr. Christina Lin is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and a Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. This study was originally presented at a Middle East Roundtable at the Joint Staff, Pentagon on September 18, 2012, Washington, D.C.

End Notes: 

[48] Office of the Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State, “U.S.-China Middle East Dialogue,” Media Note, August 14, 2012; “U.S. China Discuss Pressing Issues at Middle East Dialogue,” RTTNews, August 14, 2012.

[49] Dan Blumenthal, “Providing Arms: China and the Middle East,” Middle East Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Spring 2005),, pp.11-19.

[50] Christina Lin, “Syria in China’s New Silk Road Strategy,” China Brief, Vol. 10, No. 8, April 16, 2010, p. 3.

[51] China Daily, November 1, 2004.

[52] China Youth Daily, February 18, 2004; cited by Jin Liangxiang, Middle East Quarterly (Spring 2005), pp. 3-10.

[53] Jin Liangxiang, SIIS, “Energy First: China and the Middle East,” Middle East Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Spring 2005),, pp. 3-10.

[54] Ibid.

[55]“Hu Jintao Urges Army to Perform ‘Historical Mission,’” People’s Daily, March 14, 2005; “Perform Vital Mission, Hu Tells Military,” China Daily, March 14, 2005,; Jeffrey Engstrom, “PLA’s Growing Force Projection Capabilities,” China Brief, Vol. 10, No. 25 (December 17, 2010),

[56] Alison Kaufman, “The ‘Century of Humiliation’ and China’s National Narratives,” Testimony before the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, Hearing on “China’s Narratives Regarding National Security Policy,” March 10, 2011; Chiranjib Sengupta, “Lessons of History: China’s Century of Humiliation,” Gulf News, September 9, 2012; Lyle Morris, “Incompatible Partners: The Role of Identity and Self-Image in the Sino-U.S. Relationship, Asia Policy, No. 13 (January 2012), pp..133-65.

[57] Ye Zicheng, Inside China’s Grand Strategy: The Perspective from the People’s Republic, edited and translated by Steven I Levine and Guili Liu (Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 2011); Yong Deng and Fei Ling Wang, In the Eyes of the Dragon: China Views the World (Lanhan, Marhland: Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1999); Abanti Bhattacharya, “China’s Foreign Policy Challenges and Evolving Strategy,” Strategic Analysis (March 2006),

[58] Yun Sun, “Syria: What China Has Learned from Its Libya Experience,” Asia Pacific Bulletin, No. 152, February 27, 2012.

[59] Ibid.

[60] Cary Huang, “China Does Not Want ‘Another Libya,’” South China Morning Post, February 2012.

[61] Ibid.

[62] Sun, “Syria.”

[63] Ibid.

[64] Arabic News, May 23, 2005; Chris Zambelis, “Down the River Nile: China Gains Influence in Egypt,” China Brief, Vol. 5, No. 22, October 25, 2005.


[65] Zambelis, “Down the River Nile.”

[66] Al-Ahram Weekly, No. 699, July 15-21, 2004; Zambelis, “Down the River Nile.”

[67] “Chinese Naval Fleet Calls at Alexandria in First Visit to Egypt,” Xinhua, June 14, 2002.

[68] Xinhua, August 8, 2005; “China Issues License to Egypt Manufacturer to Build Fighter Jet Trainer,” Agence-France Presse, August 30, 2005.

[69] “Is China ‘Buying Egypt’ from the US?” CNBC, September 7, 2012.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Shaimaa Behery, “News Analysis: Egypt’s New President Seeks ‘Balanced’ Diplomatic Strategy,”Xinhua, September 6, 2012.

[72] Ian Morris, “After Beijing sends a frigate to the Med, a leading author poses a chilling question… How long until a Chinese aircraft carrier sails up the Thames?” Daily Mail, March 5, 2011; Christopher P. Cavas, “Chinese Warships Tour the Mediterranean,” Defense News, August 9, 2010; Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson, “Implications of China’s Military Evacuation of Citizens from Libya,” China Brief,Vol. 11, No. 4, March 10, 2011; Jeremy Page, “Libyan Turmoil prompts Chinese Naval Firsts,” Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2011.

[73] John Lee, “The Link Between Rising Powers ‘Domestic Regime Type and Liberal International Order,’” Global Trends 2030, May 31, 2012.

[74] Stefan Halper, The Beijing Consensus: How China’s Authoritarian Model Will Dominate the Twenty First Century (Basic Books), February 23, 2012.

[75] James Webb, “The South China Sea’s Gathering Storm,” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2012.

[76] Ibid; William Lowther, “East Asia Watching US, Senator Says,” Taipei Times, August 22, 2012.

[77] Emile El-Hokayem, “China and the Persian Gulf,” Woodrow Wilson Center Conference, July 12, 2010.

[78] Caroline Glick, “S. Korea, N. Korea, Israel and Iran,” Jerusalem Post, 21 May 2010; “As Iran Watches Korea,” Jerusalem Post, November 27, 2010; Jonathan Spyer, “Global Affairs: Why a Brazen N. Korea Is Israel’s Concern,” The Jerusalem Post, November 26, 2010; “Hardline Israeli Paper Laments S. Korea’s Response to Attack,” Chosun Ilbo, November 30, 2010.

[79] “Chain Reaction: Avoiding a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East,” Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 110th Congress, 2nd session, February 2008.

[80] Shaul Shay, “Will Egypt Go Nuclear,” BESA Center Perspectives Paper, No. 182, September 13, 2012.

[81] “Why Turkey Is Looking to China for its Nuclear Power Needs,” World Crunch, April 18, 2012; Leslie Hook and Daniel Dombey, “China Edges Ahead in Turkey Nuclear Race,” Financial Times, April 8, 2012.

[82] Kurt Campbell, “Reconsidering a Nuclear Future: Why Countries Might Cross Over to the Other Side,” in Kurt Campbell, Robert Einhorn, Mitchell Reiss (eds.), Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider Their Nuclear Choices (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2004), p.129.

[83] Natasha E Bejema, “The Dynamics of Nuclear Proliferation: How Close Is the Tipping Point?” inNuclear Scholar Initiative Project on Nuclear Issues, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), 2007.

[84] Ibid, p. 4. Taiwan pursued a clandestine nuclear program in the 1970s in face of the U.S.-China détente and process of U.S. derecognizing Taipei by recognizing Beijing, while South Korea pursued its program when Nixon pulled U.S. troops out of South Korea in 1970.

[85] Maria Rost Rublee, Nonproliferation Norms: Why States Choose Nuclear Restraint (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2009).


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