Status: Approved

Project Code: OffCycle-62-

Tracking Chinese Influence in the Middle East and North Africa

Project Title Tracking Chinese Influence in the Middle East and North Africa
Project Summary Analyze news summaries from publicly available sources to identify trends and key inroads made by China within the MENA region. Draft reports highlighting major takeaways for use by policy makers.
Country United Arab Emirates
Country/Region of Focus Middle East and North Africa
Agency Department of State
DoS Office N/A
Section POL
Number of Interns 2
Project Description

As China's influence grows globally, the United States government has taken a keen interest in better understanding the nature and scope of China's ambitions. The U.S.-China bilateral relationship has been called the most consequential relationship in the world, but in many ways that relationship itself depends on the ways third countries perceive and interact with both countries. While Chinese topics such as the Belt and Road Initiative, South China Sea expansion, and the U.S.-China "trade war" have made headlines, far less understood are China's aspirations within the Middle East, despite the region's centrality in many U.S. foreign relations priorities.

In this project, VSFS interns would provide vanguard research into how various Chinese actors are approaching relationships within the Middle East. This includes not only the government (central, provincial, and municipal) but companies (public and private), institutions (cultural, academic, scientific, etc), and private citizens (such as tourists or exchange programs). Interns would work with the Regional China Officer based in Abu Dhabi and draft reports for use by policy makers throughout the Middle East and North Africa as well as back in Washington. This internship provides an opportunity to work on a priority topic (China) within a priority region (the Middle East) at a critical time for all countries involved.

Required Skills or Interests
Analytical writing
Data visualization
Political Analysis
Additional Information

While not a requirement, ability to read Chinese or Arabic is a plus.