American Hegemony (and Hubris), the Iranian Nuclear Issue, and the Future of Sino-Iranian Relations
The Emerging Middle East-East Asia Nexus (Routledge, Forthcoming)
27 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2014 Last revised: 8 Oct 2014
Date Written: September 25, 2014
The People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran are both political orders born of revolution, dedicated to restoring their countries' independence and sovereignty after extended periods of dominance by foreign -- above all, Western -- powers. Over the past quarter century, both the People's Republic and the Islamic Republic have come to see themselves as "rising powers," and have developed multi-dimensional cooperative relations with one another, with particular emphases on energy, trade and investment ties, and regional security issues. Each side, though, has also crafted its approach to developing the Sino-Iranian relationship against the backdrop of its strategic and policy objectives vis-à-vis the United States, the global superpower and, especially since the end of the Cold War, the Persian Gulf's putative hegemon.
This chapter explores how the perceptions of political and policy elites in both Beijing and Tehran -- perceptions of relative American decline and of various aspects of U.S. foreign policy as increasingly hostile toward both the People's Republic and the Islamic Republic -- are boosting the willingness of Chinese and Iranian policymakers to expand Sino-Iranian relations in ways that defy Washington's clear preferences.
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