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The East Moves West

India, China, and Asia's Growing Presence in the Middle East

Geoffrey Kemp

Publication Year: 2010

While traditionally powerful Western economies are treading water at best, beset by crises in banking, housing, and employment, industrial growth and economic development are exploding in China and India. The world's two most populous nations are the biggest reasons for Asia's growing footprint on other global regions. The increasing size and impact of that footprint are especially important in the Middle East, an economic, religious, and geopolitical linchpin. The East Moves West details the growing interdependence of the Middle East and Asia and projects the likely ramifications of this evolving relationship. It also examines the role of Pakistan, Japan, and South Korea in the region.

Geoffrey Kemp, a longtime analyst of global security and political economy, compares and contrasts Indian and Chinese involvement in the Middle East. He stresses an embedded historical dimension that gives India substantially more familiarity and interest in the region —India was there first, and it has maintained that head start. Both nations, however, are clearly on the rise and leaving an indelible mark on the Middle East, and that enhanced influence has international ramifications for the United States and throughout the world.

Does the emergence of these Asian giants —with their increasingly huge need for energy —strengthen the case for cooperative security, particularly in the maritime arena? After all, safe and open sea-lanes remain an essential component of mutually beneficial intercontinental trade, making India and China increasingly dependent on safe passage of oil tankers. Or will we see reversion to more traditional competition and even conflict, given that the major Asian powers themselves have so many unresolved problems and that the future of the U.S. presence in the area is uncertain. Kemp believes the United States will remain the dominant military power in the region but will have to share some security responsibilities with the Asians, especially in the Indian Ocean.

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Title Page

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Copyright

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CONTENTS

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pp. v-vi

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. vii-viii

THROUGHOUT THE LONG GESTATION of this book, I have been assisted by a number of first-class Nixon Center interns who have been diligent, hardworking, and imaginative. I am especially grateful to Oliver Barry, Alexandra Booth, Jason Campbell, Justin De Rise, Rachel Dyke, Bryan Egan, Maria Fort, Michael Geremia, Kevin Grossinger, Stephanie Lei Haven, Mary ...

PART ONE. INTRODUCTION

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CHAPTER ONE. THE GROWING ASIAN MIDDLE EAST PRESENCE

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pp. 3-20

ASIAN COUNTRIES HAVE TRADED with their western neighbors for centuries. Today, however, as a result of the emergence of China and India as world economic powers and the growth of other Asian economies, the ties between Asia and the Middle East have increased to an unprecedented extent.1 The signs can be seen everywhere. All around the Arabian Gulf, ...

PART TWO. THE KEY ASIAN PLAYERS

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CHAPTER TWO. INDIA’S RISE AND THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST

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pp. 23-63

INDIA HAS LONG PLAYED an important role in the Middle East. When Britain ruled the Indian subcontinent, it exercised hegemonic power over much of the Middle East, especially following World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, and it did so from Bombay, not Cairo. Many of the civil servants who implemented British policy were Indians, and most ...

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CHAPTER THREE. CHINA’S RETURN TO THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST

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pp. 64-102

FOR SIX CENTURIES, CHINA’S westward voyages of exploration were a visible manifestation of China’s superpower status. At its peak in the fifteenth century, the Chinese fleet included as many as 300 vessels and 30,000 men, and, commanded by a Muslim from Central Asia, Admiral Zheng He, it traveled as far west as modern Tanzania. The admiral’s last expeditions ...

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CHAPTER FOUR. PAKISTAN, JAPAN, AND SOUTH KOREA: MIDDLE EAST CONNECTIONS

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pp. 103-132

IN ADDITION TO INDIA and China, most other Asian countries have growing Middle East connections. This chapter focuses on Pakistan, Japan, and South Korea. A more exhaustive study would recognize the impact that Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia—whose cooperation is vital to secure the maritime straits through which much of the trade between the Middle East and Asia ...

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CHAPTER FIVE. ASIA AND ISRAEL

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pp. 133-146

IN VIEW OF THE extreme polarization concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict found in many Western and most Muslim countries, it is significant that the Asian countries with majority non-Muslim populations have cooperative and friendly relations with Israel and that Israel has good relations with several Muslim countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia. It therefore ...

PART THREE. STRATEGIC LINKAGES

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CHAPTER SIX. INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN THE GULF AND CENTRAL ASIA

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pp. 149-173

TO GAIN MORE PERSPECTIVE on long-term trends in relations between Asian and Middle Eastern countries, it is important to examine other infrastructure projects that will make travel and trade between Asia and the Middle East by land, air, and sea easier and further facilitate commercial and political ties. If most of the projects are completed, their long-range impact on ...

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CHAPTER SEVEN. STRATEGIC ISSUES AND THE MARITIME ENVIRONMENT: COOPERATION, COMPETITION, AND CONFLICT

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pp. 174-228

THE PRECEDING CHAPTERS HAVE focused on the growing ties between the Middle East and Asia, including economic developments and infrastructure projects that it is hoped will facilitate mutual access in the decades ahead. However, such access is not certain; one has to take into account not only the unpredictability of the global economy but also the prospects for continuing ...

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CHAPTER EIGHT. ALTERNATIVE SCENARIOS AND UNCERTAINTIES

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pp. 229-238

THE GROWING TIES BETWEEN Asia and the Middle East will have a significant influence on the geopolitics of the vast region that stretches from the eastern Mediterranean to East Asia. India and China will become important actors. Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, and the Central and Southeast Asian countries also will play significant roles. The momentum that is pulling these ...

APPENDIX A. SINGAPORE, INDONESIA, AND MALAYSIA IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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pp. 239-242

APPENDIX B. UNDERSEA CABLE NETWORKS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA

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pp. 243-258

NOTES

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pp. 249-306

INDEX

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pp. 307-326


E-ISBN-13: 9780815704430
E-ISBN-10: 0815704437

Page Count: 326
Publication Year: 2010

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Subject Headings

  • Middle East -- Foreign economic relations -- India.
  • India -- Foreign economic relations -- Middle East.
  • Middle East -- Foreign economic relations -- China.
  • China -- Foreign economic relations -- Middle East.
  • Petroleum industry and trade -- Political aspects -- Middle East.
  • Gas industry -- Political aspects -- Middle East.
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