CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

From Beijing to Baghdad: Stability and Decision-making in Sino-Iraqi Relations, 1958-2012

Scott J. Lee, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Social Sciences

Dept/Program: Political Science

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Avery Goldstein

Date of this Version: 01 April 2013



As the People’s Republic of China has modernized, it has become increasingly reliant on Middle Eastern oil to fuel its economy. But economics did not always play a primary role in China’s Middle East policy. This thesis seeks to answer the questions: what have been the drivers of the PRC’s foreign policy in the Persian Gulf region – and what historical, political, and economic circumstances caused them to evolve at such a rapid pace? In analyzing Chinese foreign policy in Iraq over three chronological periods – the Cold War Period (1958-1979), the Transition Period (1980-1988), and the Post-Cold War Period (1989-present) – this thesis finds that China has always had an interest in regional stability. However, the definition of “stability” has differed during each period, reflecting a general trend away from ideological and political considerations and toward a focus on economic interests.


Political Science

Suggested Citation

Lee, Scott J., "From Beijing to Baghdad: Stability and Decision-making in Sino-Iraqi Relations, 1958-2012" 01 April 2013. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 10 May 2013




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