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The impact of COVID-19 on China–Persian Gulf relations: a game-changer or a spotlight?

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In the last decade, the relationships between China and the Persian Gulf countries have evolved from ones based on an almost entirely economic rationale to a more complex, multi-layered set of relations, often pervaded by strategic elements. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Persian Gulf – and the entire world – as an unforecastable storm, causing an unprecedented social, economic, political and health crisis. Yet the pandemic did not result in the rejection or even major scrutiny of China’s role and presence in the Persian Gulf. In fact, rather than undermining the foundations of the supply and demand logic that constitute the backbone of these relationships, the pandemic has made more apparent its fundamental trends, the blind spots, and, especially in the case of Iran, the dangerous overdependence.
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Keywords: COVID-19; China; GCC; Iran; Persian Gulf

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Durham University, UK

Publication date: November 2020

This article was made available online on October 26, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "The impact of COVID-19 on China–Persian Gulf relations: a game-changer or a spotlight?".

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  • Global Discourse is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented journal of applied contemporary thought operating at the intersection of politics, international relations, sociology and social policy. The Journal's scope is broad, encouraging interrogation of current affairs with regard to core questions of distributive justice, wellbeing, cultural diversity, autonomy, sovereignty, security and recognition. All issues are themed and aimed at addressing pressing issues as they emerge. Rejecting the notion that publication is the final stage in the research process, Global Discourse seeks to foster discussion and debate between often artificially isolated disciplines and paradigms, with responses to articles encouraged and conversations continued across issues.

    The Journal features a mix of full-length articles, each accompanied by one or more replies, policy papers commissioned by organizations and institutions and book review symposia, typically consisting of three reviews and a reply by the author(s). With an international advisory editorial board consisting of experienced, highly-cited academics, Global Discourse publishes themed issues on topics as they emerge. Authors are encouraged to explore the international dimensions and implications of their work.

    All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and double-blind peer review. All submissions must be in response to a specific call for papers.

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