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China, Asia, and the Changing Strategic Importance of the Gulf and MENA Region

Author: Anthony H. Cordesman

Affiliation: Center for Strategic and International Studies

Organization/Publisher: Center for Strategic and International Studies

Date/Place: October 15, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Policy Analysis

Number of Pages: 15


Keywords: Energy Imports, Competition, Strategic Partnership


The shift in US strategy from the Middle East to East Asia seems total in its nature, yet the US ought to have a more comprehensive approach to China beyond East Asia. The Middle East is increasing in strategic value and not the other way around, as the rise of Chinese oil needs has made exports across the Indian Ocean more vital. The broad spectrum of strategic competition cannot be reduced to East Asia alone, especially since China competes in every field beyond the military and in every possible region as well. The US could also compete on a global scale while trying to maintain mutual cooperation, especially as China attempts to increase its presence in the Middle East. Dominating maritime routes of the Indian Ocean is of high strategic value, thus the approach to the Middle East has been shifting from protecting American energy imports to maintaining an economic status quo favorable to the US. Moreover, expanding competition beyond military capabilities could steer China-US competition into more peaceful waters, emphasizing on the fact that both sides do not wish for conflict.


By: Omar Fili, CIGA Research Assistant



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