China in the Middle East and Africa

Notre Dame Jerusalem Global Gateway Tantur Ecumenical Institute
June 22, 2022

This conference will take place 9:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. Israel Daylight Time / 2:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. ET (US).

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have become central to China’s foreign policy strategy after decades of being relegated to the periphery.

Since the COVID pandemic, China’s growing influence in the MENA region has been hampered by a number of domestic factors: sluggish growth rates, pollution, an aging population, and a tighter authoritarian grip on the population, especially Muslim minorities. More recently, COVID lockdowns in dozens of Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, have made exchanges and research in China increasingly difficult. These and other challenges have had a significant impact on Beijing’s engagement with the region.

Against the backdrop of escalating US-China strategic rivalry, new dynamics in the MENA region, and traditional and novel global security concerns, this conference will bring together leading experts to explore these and related issues. It will synthesize their collective expertise to identify important trends and identify ways in which the United States and Israel might collaborate on policy.

Presented by the Keough School of Global Affairs and the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, with support from Notre Dame International and the Notre Dame International Security Center.

Conference Panels

  • Panel 1: China and the Global Strategic Landscape
  • Panel 2: China’s Political and Economic Clout in the Middle East
  • Book Talk: Professor Joshua Eisenman, China’s Strategic Relations with Africa: A New Era of Political and Security Engagement
  • Panel 3: China in Africa
  • Panel 4: China and Israel

View full program


Joshua Eisenman

Associate Professor of Politics, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame

Tuvia Gering

Research Fellow, Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

Nath Aldalala’a

Professor of International Relations, Shandong University

Joseph Asunka

CEO, Afrobarometer

Irit Bak

Head, Inter-University Program of African Studies, Tel Aviv University

Sharon Bar-David

PhD Candidate, Department of Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University

Ilan Berman

Senior Vice President, American Foreign Policy Council

Oshrit Birvadker

Research Fellow, Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

Chen Yunnan

Senior Research Officer, Development and Public Finance, ODI

Jonathan Fulton

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Zayed University

Alex Grinberg

Research Fellow, Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

Efraim Inbar

President, Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

Galia Lavi

Research Fellow, Institute for National Security Studies

Jonathan Noble

Senior Assistant Provost for Internationalization, University of Notre Dame

Eric Olander

Editor-in-Chief, The China-Global South Project

Alexander B. Pevzner

Senior Researcher, Strategy Risks Corp.

Yitzhak Shichor

Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies, University of Haifa; Michael William Lipson Chair Professor Emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Sim Li-Chen

Assistant Professor, Khalifa University

David O. Shullman

Senior Director, Global China Hub, The Atlantic Council

Wang Duanyong

Director, Centre for China’s Overseas Interests Studies, Shanghai International Studies University

Shalom Wald

Senior Fellow, Jewish People Policy Institute