The East Moves West

The East Moves West: India, China, and Asia's Growing Presence in the Middle East

Geoffrey Kemp
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 2
Pages: 326
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  • Book Info
    The East Moves West
    Book Description:

    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 Westdetails 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.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2431-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface to the Paperback Edition
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. PART ONE Introduction

    • CHAPTER ONE The Growing Asian Middle East Presence
      (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, hotels, banks, schools, and shopping centers are managed by Asian expatriate workers, who also provide most of the region’s manual labor. Without Asian labor, the oil-rich economies of the Gulf would collapse. Many of the vast construction projects in Doha, Abu Dhabi,...

  6. PART TWO The Key Asian Players

    • CHAPTER TWO India’s Rise and the Greater Middle East
      (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 of the soldiers who enforced it were Indian volunteers serving in Britain’s Indian Army. It therefore is unsurprising that many erudite Indians share the nation’s amnesia about its past participation in the wars of the British Empire, especially those in...

    • CHAPTER THREE China’s Return to the Greater Middle East
      (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 reached Mecca and modern day Iran. Yet, after his last expedition in 1432, China, having reordered national priorities to focus on domestic issues and the landward threat from Central Asia, abruptly halted its naval explorations. As a result, China had little contact...

    • CHAPTER FOUR Pakistan, Japan, and South Korea: Middle East Connections
      (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 passes—have had on economic, political, and cultural ties with the Middle East.¹ Taiwan and Australia also are important players in the economic arena. Australia, in particular, is a significant Asian maritime power and a key ally of the United States and...

    • CHAPTER FIVE Asia and Israel
      (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 is useful to summarize Israel’s relationships with key Asian countries in a separate chapter. The most interesting have been the close ties between the Israeli defense technology sector and India’s and China’s defense establishments. Those ties not only reflect the mutual benefit that all parties perceive...

  7. PART THREE Strategic Linkages

    • CHAPTER SIX Infrastructure Projects in the Gulf and Central Asia
      (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 regional geopolitics and geoeconomics will be far-reaching.

      This chapter examines two sets of infrastructure developments. First, the economic boom in the Arab Gulf has generated a number of important projects that relate directly to commerce with Asia, especially new airport, seaport,...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN Strategic Issues and the Maritime Environment: Cooperation, Competition, and Conflict
      (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 military conflict and confrontation throughout the region.

      Since most of the commerce between the Middle East and Asia goes by sea or air over long tracks of the Indian Ocean, the security of the maritime environment is a key factor in...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT Alternative Scenarios and Uncertainties
      (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 two regions together is driven primarily by economic factors, especially Asia’s need for the Middle East’s fossil fuels. But that very momentum may have within it the seeds for greater competition and conflict rather than harmony and cooperation. History suggests that...


    • APPENDIX A Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia in the Middle East
      (pp. 239-242)
    • APPENDIX B Undersea Cable Networks in the Middle East and Asia
      (pp. 243-248)
  9. Notes
    (pp. 249-306)
  10. Index
    (pp. 307-326)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 327-327)