China’s Energy Security: I.R. Iran and Saudi Arabia’s Role in China’s Energy Diplomacy


1 School of International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Allameh Tababa'i University, Tehran, Iran


This paper examines the possible choices and energy security plans of China, focusing on its relations with I.R Iran and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. Needless to say, these two rival countries in the region are both among the top oil producers of the world and China has deep and old cooperation with both countries. Meanwhile in its new strategy, China tries to establish a kind of balance among all oil exporting countries and strengthening ties to refrain from any challenges with countries in the Middle East. With its growing energy need, China’s involvement in this region is growing. The “One Belt, One Road” as china’s new grand strategy to build firm relationship with other countries has also paid great heed to the Middle East. This paper, using facts and statistics tries to analyze the future of Sino-Iranian and Sino-Saudi relations focusing on how China seeks to obtain its energy security by coordinating its relationship with these two countries. We concluded that China’s main strategy is to make a balance among all actors in the Middle East. Certainly in the near future, Iran and Saudi Arabia will try to obtain as much of Chinese oil market as they can, but lastly the main decision maker here would be China. We guess that Iran will win the game because Iran’s oil production and export had declined in past recent years (before JCPOA agreement) and with this strategy of China, it is Iran who gains the benefit in comparison to Saudis who lose some of their oil market.


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