This essay offers an overview of the Chinese posture and debate toward the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region. The author presents China’s outlook toward the region as a laboratory for an innovative course in Beijing’s future foreign policy. The analysis is divided into three parts: a critical introduction that assesses the role of WANA within the spectrum of Chinese hierarchical vision of the international system, a detailed assessment of the factors that are transforming WANA into one of the most crucial sectors of Beijing’s foreign policy, and a detailed overview of the internal debate on China’s evolving role in the region.

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