On March 6, 2023, representatives from Iran and Saudi Arabia met in Beijing for discussions and four days later, i.e., on 10 March, 2023, Riyadh and Tehran announced their decision to normalize relations. Both sides agreed to reopen their embassies and exchange ambassadors after seven years of tensions, mutual animosity, proxy warfare, suspected attacks and espionage between the two countries. The deal has created ripples across the globe. This landmark agreement has the potential to transform the Middle East politics by realigning its major powers, replacing the current Arab-Iranian divide with a complex web of relationships, and weaving the region into China’s global ambitions. The fact that the deal was facilitated by China is being seen as another sign that China’s diplomatic clout in the region as well as across the globe is growing. How sustainable would it be, how would the other regional players respond and what would be the impact on the traditional US dominance in this region, are some of the questions that this conversation would seek to explore.
About the Panellists
Mr. Atul Aneja is the Editor of India Narrative. He was formerly the Strategic Affairs Editor of The Hindu newspaper and was posted in Beijing between August 2014 and January 2020 as Associate Editor (China). He was also the West Asia correspondent for The Hindu, based in Bahrain and Dubai from August 2002 to June 2014. Atul extensively field reported on the Arab Spring from Cairo, Benghazi and Tunis. Specialising in conflict zones, he had earlier reported on the Lebanon war of July/August 2006 and covered the situation emerging in Iraq after the Anglo-American Invasion. His areas of interests are geopolitics and international security and geo-economics, with focus on China and Eurasia.
Dr. Andrea Ghiselli is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University in Shanghai. He is also the Head of Research of the TOChina Hub’s ChinaMed Project. His research interests include foreign policy analysis, Chinese foreign policy, and China’s relations with the Middle East. His book Protecting China’s Interests Overseas: Securitization and Foreign Policy was published by Oxford University Press in 2021.
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