The Social Sciences

Year: 2017
Volume: 12
Issue: 10
Page No. 1775 - 1794

Yemen-China Relations: History and Development in Bilateral Relations

Authors : Yahya Yahya Yahya Al Awd, Muhammad Fuad Bin Othman and Norafidah Binti Ismail

Abstract: The present Republic of Yemen (RY) was formed on May 22, 1990 when the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) that lies in the north merged with its southern neighbour, the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). Before September 1962, the Imamat regime ruled the northern part of Yemen and the southern part mostly controlled by the British. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) had an early interest in Yemen that was largely expedited by the alignment between the PRC and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the latter’s even earlier involvement in Yemen. Since, the mid-1950s, the PRC had recognized that Yemen is located in a strategic location that is suitable for the socialist regimes to establish its influence before the capitalist gain a foothold in the region. Therefore, the PRC teamed up with the USSR to exploit the Anti-Western sentiments through the provision of financial assistance to the ruling Imamat regime in Yemen. Fortunately for the PRC, Imam Ahmad had a deep-seated aversion for the British and thus favoured the USSR, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the PRC and thus the PRC took the opportunity to get into the good books of Imam Ahmad. By August 1956 both countries had established formal diplomatic relations and the said event was at that time the most significant political development in the region that includes the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. At that time, the nationalist government in Taiwan was recognised by most countries as the legitimate representative of all China and Yemen’s recognition of the PRC made it the first Arabian Peninsula country and the third Arabic country to do so. The PRC was cognizant of the fact that such developments was an opportunity for it to fortify the security in the Peninsula region and act as a counterforce against the USSR and the US aspirations to be dominant forces in the region. The PRC was also of the view that Yemen can be a major force to maintain the unity of the Arab states and thus ensure the peace and stability of the Gulf and the Red Sea area. This thesis will investigate the six decade long history of the relationship as well as to understand why up to this point in time there has not been much development. Available data indicate that the PRC’s relations with Yemen was basically one-sided, i.e., it was only the PRC’s own economic and political interests. Interestingly, the PRC-Yemeni relationship is an early illustration of the ‘South-South’ cooperation amongst the developing countries.

How to cite this article:

Yahya Yahya Yahya Al Awd, Muhammad Fuad Bin Othman and Norafidah Binti Ismail, 2017. Yemen-China Relations: History and Development in Bilateral Relations. The Social Sciences, 12: 1775-1794.

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