As the United States pulls back from the Middle East, China and the Gulf states are competing for and cooperating on development projects.
Karen Young is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She teaches courses in international relations and political economy of the Middle East at George Washington University and Johns Hopkins SAIS. She is the author of The Political Economy of the United Arab Emirates: Between the Majilis and the Market and publishes frequently in policy and academic outlets.
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Saudi Arabia's ambitious economic reforms are losing out to the regime's efforts to secure its influence at home and abroad.