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Qatar and the US-China Rivalry: the Dilemmas of a Gulf Monarchy

9 November 2021


Like its neighbours in the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar finds itself increasingly confronted with a difficult dilemma: While its economy is looking to the East, more specifically towards China, the security and stability of the country still depend on the United States.

  • The intensification of Qatar and China's economic relations has resulted in more cooperation on the diplomatic level and even, more discreetly, on the military level.
  • Doha has not, however, conducted a strategic shift towards Beijing. Chinese arms sales to Qatar are still dwarfed by those of the Qatari army's two main suppliers, the United States and France.
  • Contrary to what recent geopolitical developments might suggest on a surface level, US-Qatar relations have not deteriorated but have grown stronger over the last few years.
This briefing is available in French: "Le Qatar face à la rivalité sino-américaine : les dilemmes d'une monarchie du Golfe"



united states middle east / north africa sino-american rivalry us/qatar relations china/qatar relations