عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Given China’s growing economic growth and the need to supply energy to industries, as well as access to the consumer market for domestic production, Xi Jinping in 2013 introduced the Silk Road Initiative as his country’s macro strategy. The Persian Gulf region is the “economic center of gravity” of the oil industry, with the world's largest oil fields, the lowest production and about two-thirds of the world’s proven energy reserves. With the continuation and deepening of China-West Asia relations in the field of energy supply, efforts have been made to expand and strengthen diplomatic relations with West Asian countries in the past. Given the growing debate and competition from regional and trans-regional actors for greater benefits in West Asia, China, with its growing economic growth and the need to provide energy for continued economic and trade power, through its macro-initiative strategy. The Silk Road has put the expansion of its presence and influence in West Asia on the agenda.
Research Question: what goals does China pursue in West Asia through the Energy Silk Road Initiative?
Research Hypothesis: China seeks to secure its energy through the implementation of the Silk Road Initiative through long-term contracts and investments with West Asian countries.
Methodology (and Theoretical Framework if there are): Energy security is a multidimensional concept, and different stakeholders look at it from their own perspectives. Supply, demand, industry and the environment are considered different dimensions of energy security. Today, due to the challenges posed to the threat of energy security to the economic infrastructure of countries, many governments consider self-sufficiency in the field of energy to ensure the continuation of productive economic activities, is inevitable. China, as one of the leading countries in the field of economic growth and development, in order to maintain its economic position, which translates its position in the international system, and considering the emphasis on a multilateral approach in the international system and Replacing the existing order, energy security and non-disruption in its provision has been one of the main axes of foreign policy and inviolable principle in pursuit of national interests, so in this study, the discussion of energy security as one of the main areas of the Silk Road Initiative , Has been considered as a point of reference and a conceptual framework for explaining the goals of the Silk Road Initiative in the field of energy in West Asia.
Results and Discussion: Following the implementation of the Silk Road Initiative in 2013, China’s economic relationship with West Asia entered a more serious phase. indicating that West Asia currently has high priorities in China’s geostrategic sphere. In its cooperation with West Asian countries, China intends to focus on three areas: the first and most important area, the energy sector, the second area, facilitating investment in infrastructure and trade, and the third area, progress in nuclear energy, space satellite and New energy. China has various methods to ensure its energy security, such as huge investments in the exploration and extraction of oil and gas fields, strengthening of energy infrastructure to improve energy efficiency, participation in oil projects, it has used gas, electricity, renewable energy, nuclear energy, etc. in West Asia in the form of the Silk Road initiative. It should also be acknowledged that China’s growing influence in the West Asian region through strategies such as the Silk Road Initiative, despite its declared policy, is not just about economics, but also about pursuing political and security interests and providing the basis for expanding influence and hegemony. The periphery is at the heart of the plan.
Conclusion: Conflicts and political unrest in the West Asian region are causing panic and disruption in China’s energy supply channels. Its acquisition has shifted to Central Asia's energy resources. It should be noted that despite the fact that Beijing supplies most of its energy resources from West Asia, and continued investment to ensure China's energy security is one of its top foreign policy priorities in West Asia. However, the existing political and security challenges in these countries, the energy transfer route, the US influence in the region, etc. are considered as a threat to China’s energy security. Therefore, within the framework of the Silk Road initiative, Beijing has invested in oil and gas resources of Central Asian countries by concluding long-term contracts and investing in energy infrastructure, as a safety valve and alternative to West Asian energy to benefit. Exercising its economic influence in the region will pave the way for regional hegemony and challenge US unilateralism.