China's economic growth led to a concomitant expansion of its interests across the globe, and the Middle East and North Africa is today vital to the sustainability of that growth. Beijing adopts a "soft power" approach to its ties with the Arab states whereby it establishes "strategic partnerships". Distinguishing features of China's soft power approach have included non-intervention in internal affairs; avoidance of a clash of civilizations; non-imposition of its will on smaller powers; the diffusion of Chinese culture through official and public diplomacy; and economic cooperation. Western depictions of the "Chinese menace" have compelled Beijing to defend its peaceful policy aims. The main motivations of China's Arab policies are economic, but have geopolitical and geostrategic repercussions. It is part of China's overall "pivot to the West".