3 December 2019 The Role of China in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Beyond Economic Interests
  • 09:30 - 18:00
  • 3 December 2019
  • Center for Social and Economic Research, Warsaw

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has traditionally been rather peripheral to China’s interests. However, under President Xi Jinping this has notably changed. This has mostly been due to the MENA countries’ strategic position on the rekindled Silk Road trade route, connecting China with Europe via Asia and Africa. The already strong trade relations between China and the MENA states have been providing a stable foundation for growing cooperation in other fields as well. Indeed, China’s 2016 official Arab Policy Paper focuses not only on investment and trade but also underlines the need for political, cultural and social, as well as peace and security related cooperation.

Against this background, the main aim of the workshop will be to discuss the present and potential future role of China in the MENA region. Some of the most important questions that will be addressed are: To what extent will China stick to a predominantly economically-driven engagement in the region? What security implications can its increasing presence in the MENA entail? What (if any) are the MENA countries’ strategies towards China? What can China’s further involvement mean for the balance of powers in the region? What (if any) are the consequences of China’s growing presence in the MENA for the EU?



9.30 – 9.40 Registration

9.40 – 10.00 Welcome

Katarzyna Sidło Director of the Middle East and North Africa Department CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research
Aleksandra Chmielewska Project Manager IEMed – The European Institute of the Mediterranean

10.00 – 11.15 China-MENA Relations in the Context of the Belt and Road Initiative Chinese Global Strategy

11.15 – 12.30 China’s Economic Engagement in the Region

Katarzyna Sidło Director of the Middle East and North Africa Department CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 - 14.45 China’s Political, Military and Cultural Engagement in the Region

14.45 – 16.00 Chinese Involvement in the Region from the Perspective of the European Union and its Allies

Alexandr Lagazzi Communications Manager EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy

16.00 – 16.30 Coffee break

16.30 – 17.45 The Geopolitical Implications of China’s Presence in the MENA

Lars Andersen Senior Research Fellow DIIS – Danish Institute for International Studies

17.45 – 18.00 Wrap-up Session