Conflict and instability in the Middle East show no signs of abating. Recent jousting between Israeli and Palestinian forces, the ongoing war in Yemen, and continued Saudi Arabia-Iran friction threaten to further destabilize the region. Though President Biden is attempting to restore coherence in the U.S. approach to the Middle East, his administration remains focused on responding to the pandemic domestically and on countering China in the international arena. Beijing, for its part, appears intent on playing a larger role in Middle Eastern affairs. It continues to foster stronger ties with regional countries through its Belt and Road Initiative and bilateral cooperation agreements, such as the twenty-five-year investment deal with Iran. How will China’s growing influence in the region affect the interests of the United States and other actors?

During a live recording of the China in the World podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow in the Carnegie Endowment’s Middle East Program, and He Wenping, a professor at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. This panel is the fourth of the Carnegie Global Dialogue Series 2020-2021 and is also available to be watched online.