Jonathan Fulton

Associate Professor

Jonathan Fulton is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  He received his PhD in International Relations from the University of Leicester, UK, where his dissertation focused on China’s relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council member states.  He has written widely on China-Middle East relations for both academic and popular publications.  He is the author of the China’s Relations with the Gulf Monarchies and co-editor of External Power and the Gulf Monarchies.


Ph. D., Political Science, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom, 2017

M. A., International Policy and Diplomacy, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom, 2010

M.Ed., Teaching Second Languages, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia, 2005

B. A., Political Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, 1997


International Studies Association

Association of Asian Studies

Association of Chinese Political Studies

Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies

Research and Professional Activities

Research Interests

  • International Relations
  • China-GCC relations
  • China's Belt and Road Initiative
  • International Relations of the Gulf
  • Chinese foreign policy

Current Projects

  • Regions in the Belt and Road Initiative (edited book)
  • The Belt and Road Initiative and Middle East states
  • Chinese foreign policy in the Belt and Road Era
  • The Gulf as a theater of competition

Teaching Areas

  • Special Topics: Chinese Foreign Policy
  • Comparative Political Systems of East Asia
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Introduction to Political Science
  • East Asian Society and Culture
  • International Relations of the Gulf
  • State, Society, and the Economy in East Asia
  • Independent Studies
  • Social and Economic Trends in the Gulf


Fulton, Jonathan. China’s Middle East Math: Building the Belt and Road Initiative in the Arab World. Under contract with Routledge.

Fulton, Jonathan. 2019. China’s Relations with the Gulf Monarchies. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. 

Edited Volumes

Sim, Li-Chen, and Jonathan Fulton. Editors.  2023. Asian Perceptions of Gulf Security. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Fulton, Jonathan. Editor. 2022. The Routledge Handbook of China – Middle East Relations.  Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Fulton, Jonathan. Editor. 2020.  Regions in the Belt and Road Initiative. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Fulton, Jonathan, and Li-Chen Sim. Editors. 2019. External Powers and the Gulf Monarchies. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Refereed Journal Articles

Fulton, Jonathan. 2022. Systemic Change and Regional Orders: Asian Responses to a Gulf in Transition. The International Spectator. 57(4): 1-19.

Fulton, Jonathan. 2022. Interests above Influence: China’s Security Presence in the Middle East – North Africa. Asia Policy 17(2): 163-166.

Fulton, Jonathan. 2022. The China-Iran Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: A Tale of Two Regional Security Complexes. Asian Affairs 53(1): 145-163.

Fulton, Jonathan. 2021. China Between Iran and the Gulf Monarchies. Middle East Policy 28(3-4): 203-216.

Fulton, Jonathan and Roie Yellinek. 2021. UAE – Israel Diplomatic Normalization: A Response to a Turbulent Middle East Region. Comparative Strategy 40(5): 499-515.

Sim, Li-Chen, and Jonathan Fulton. 2021. Implications of a Regional Order in Flux: Chinese and Russian Relations with the United Arab Emirates. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 34(4): 551-569.

Book Chapters

Fulton, Jonathan. 2023. “China’s Uneasy Balancing in the Persian Gulf,” in Shahram Akbarzadeh, ed., Handbook of Middle East Politics, pp. 210-225. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Fulton, Jonathan. 2023. “Asian Powers and a Transitioning Gulf Order,” in Li-Chen Sim and Jonathan Fulton, eds., Asian Perceptions of Gulf Security, pp. 8-29. Abingdon: Routledge.

Sim, Li-Chen, and Jonathan Fulton. 2022. “External Powers and the United Arab Emirates,” in Kristian Alexander and William Guéraiche, eds., The Different Facets of Security in the United Arab Emirates, pp. 124-132. Abingdon: Routledge.

Fulton, Jonathan. 2022. “China’s Emergence as a Middle East Power,” in Jonathan Fulton, ed., The Routledge Handbook of China – Middle East Relations, pp. 1-12. Abingdon: Routledge.

Fulton, Jonathan. 2021. “The Gulf Cooperation Council’s ‘Visions’ of Maritime Silk Road Initiative Cooperation,” in Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, ed., China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative: Africa and the Middle East: Feats, Freezes, and Failures, pp. 227-254. Singapore: Palgrave MacMillan.


Fulton, Jonathan. 2023. I2U2: Indo-Pacific Minilaterals Come to the Middle East. Asia in the GCC: A New Strategic Partner? Middle East Council on Global Affairs, pp. 91-98.

Schuman, Michael, Jonathan Fulton & Tuvia Gering. 2023. How Beijing’s Newest Global Initiatives Seek to Remake the World Order. Atlantic Council Global China Hub.

Fulton, Jonathan. 2022. Cooperative Security in the Middle East: A Role for China? Chatham House.

Fulton, Jonathan.  2022. From Haifa to Abu Dhabi: China’s Maritime Strategies in the Middle East, Maritime Strategies in the Middle East, National University of Singapore Middle East Institute.

Fulton, Jonathan, and Li-Chen Sim. 2022. Great Power Projection in the Middle East: The China-Russia Relationship as a Force Multiplier? The Atlantic Council Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative.