Early in 2017, children in the Gulf states tuned in to the premiere of a novel animation series.

Kong Xiaoxi and Hakim, a 26-episode cartoon series, was co-produced in China and Saudi Arabia and broadcast on public television in both countries.

It tells the story of Hakim, a Saudi Arabian teenager working in his family’s restaurant. Hakim’s family restaurant faces stiff competition from a Western backed rival, the Raman restaurant.

Yet before Hakim loses hope in the prospects of the survival of his family restaurant, he meets Kong Xiaoxi, a Chinese teenager who offers his help. Kong helps Hakim’s family, using traditional Chinese cooking methods, to turn the restaurant around and help beat its rival.

Designed to promote cross-cultural awareness, Kong teaches Hakim traditional martial arts from China, whilst Hakim teaches Kong about life in Saudi Arabia.

Though intended for an audience yet to reach political maturity, Kong Xiaoxi and Hakim provides powerful symbolic insights into the expanding role China plays in the Middle East.

It indicates that China sees itself in the region as an agent of assistance, willing to aid regional powers to reach their potential rather than keeping them weak and divided. It suggests a new period of cultural engagement between long detached world regions.

where once people and politics in the Middle East looked West for inspiration and support, in recent years they have increasingly shifted their gaze eastwards.

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  1. China doesn’t want us to imitate their systems. We can use their technology in our own unique ways. What most asians want is to be included in our culture in an open and inclusive cultural exchange.

    That is our advantage, and xenophobia our worst inner enemy. How many people study marshal arts in the West? How many people like to eat Chinese food? How hard can it be to offer them the best of what we have in return? Swimming lessons and out door recreation would be a great place to start. That would protect and enhance our culture and environment.

    Asians don’t want asian teachers. They want us to welcome them learning from us.

  2. They come here, however and find they are not welcome. While we race to destroy the very systems that we should be treasuring as unique.

    We personally take asian people camping, fishing and skydiving. They are easy people to live with. Their social culture is more advanced than our own and we have personally learned to get along with each other better from living and working with them.

    Yes we need to be wary of their business savvy in mass producing cheap consumer goods, real estate, banking etc. but Asia is a massive market and there are cultural experiences we can offer in trade that they cannot replicate.

    Our fascist western rulers don’t want open markets, free trade and competition. They are our enemy not the Chinese.

  3. Surely the fascist structures imposing these new systems in the West know this. The elephant in the room (on VT) is that their imposition seems more a race to incarcerate us into open air panopticons and cull anyone deemed not to be useful in their Brave New World. A tech nightmare which is now being fast tracked and only built to serve the rich.

    China is being blamed for imposing their way of life on us, when in fact it is our fascist rulers artificially imposing these new systems (using ‘the virus’ as a catalyst) onto us.

    Xi demoted the leaders found to first impose the lockdowns in China. The horse had bolted, however, and closing the gate was not an option with the West placing so much pressure on China’s response in the press.

    We should compete with what we have that China doesn’t have. Asians has a ravenous hunger for Western culture. They want to learn English and be involved in the culture they have seen glamorized for so many years on the screen.

  4. A very balanced and informative article.

    What is missing is the Western response. Destroying ‘legacy’ western systems that leave The West behind in the current tech revolution will not put us ahead in the race. ‘Legacy’ systems such as face to face health care (as opposed to health care using digital interface), private banking, larger houses and widespread access to private transport etc.

    The systems now being artificially imposed on The West—that have put China ahead in the tech revolution—have evolved organically in China; due to their large population and only recent transition from poverty to a more modern affluent lifestyle.

    Imposing these systems artificially in the West is already evoking a huge backlash. That fight will only escalate as social engineering is more aggressively imposed.

    Shopping on Amazon, mixed commercial/residential high density urban developments, high energy costs (forcing westerners into these high density dwellings) and driverless cars wont be enough to level the playing field. Our leaders are not fit to look after massive high density urban populations. Western populations cannot even live together peacefully when living together in large suburban homes.

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