Quarterly Publication

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor in International Relations, Allameh Tabataba`i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D Student, International Relations

3 Ph.D Student, International Relations from Kharazmi International University, Faculty of Law and Political Science


As a region rich in oil and gas resources, low energy prices, and a unique geopolitical position, the Middle East has been the focus of global attention, particularly for economic powers such as China and India. Due to the wide gap between energy supply and demand, especially for oil, the two countries have developed a special diplomacy for their energy supplies. Understanding the oil policies of Beijing and New Delhi as the main actors in the energy market of the Middle East is paramount for the leading oil-producing countries. By conducting a comparative analysis of the Delhi–Beijing oil policies in the Middle East, the present article will ask how domestic, regional, and international variables affect the Chinese and Indian oil policies in this region. The authors have compared the following critical variables in answer to this question: the legal structure and decision-making process, self-sufficiency levels, the geopolitical position toward the Middle East, oil diplomacy, the role of technology, and the international economic-political position of the two countries. Our findings show that the Beijing government has formulated its oil policy using a single, specific decision-making body in the energy sector. It has relied on expanding multilateral ties with other countries, long-term investments, long-term loans, expanding energy transfer pipelines, and long-term contracts to deepen its relations with oil-rich countries, particularly those in West Asia. On the other hand, India has based its diplomacy on short-term economic contracts, situation analysis, and needs assessment. It is, however, clear that both countries will continue to depend on oil from the Middle East in the medium term despite the threat of US sanctions


Main Subjects

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