RSIS Book Launch Seminar of “China and the Middle East: Venturing into the Maelstrom” by Dr James M. Dorsey, Senior Fellow, RSIS
About the Book
The 21st century’s Great Game is about the creation of a new Eurasia-centred world. It locks China, Russia, India, Japan and Europe into what is an epic battle. Yet, they are not the only players. While US President Donald J. Trump’s policies are still largely shrouded in mystery, early indications suggest a closer alliance with India in a bid to counter potential Chinese dominance.
Middle Eastern rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, are key players too. So is the United Arab Emirates. As they vie for big power favour, they compete to secure the ability to shape the future architecture of Eurasia’s energy landscape, enhance leverage by increasing energy and oil product market share, and position themselves as key nodes in infrastructure networks.
With China and a US-backed India as the heavy weights, the Great Game is unlikely to produce an undisputed winner. Nor do key players perceive it as a zero-sum-game.
The stakes in the game are about ensuring that China despite its vast resources, economic leverage, and first starter advantage in infrastructure linkage, does not emerge as the sole dominant power in the future architecture of Eurasia. That architecture involves a melding of the European and Asian continents that puts the greater Middle East in which the dividing lines between the Arab, Turkic and Persian worlds that cut across Central and South Asia are fluid, in an ever more central position.
Efforts to restrain China’s rise are enhanced by growing anti-China resentment in key nodes of the People’s Republic’s 68-nation, US $1 trillion Belt and Road initiative and increased questioning of China’s business practices.
Some of the alliances in the shaping of Eurasia’s future are opportunistic rather than strategic. This is particularly true for Russian ties to China and Iran. James M. Dorsey’s book, China and the Middle East: Venturing into the Maelstrom, outlines the contours of potential conflicts of interest that are already evident and likely to impact the degree to which China will have a free reign.
About the Author
James M. Dorsey is a Senior Fellow focused on the Middle East and North Africa who publishes widely in peer-reviewed journals as well as non-academic publications. A veteran, award-winning foreign correspondent for four decades in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the United States for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Financial Times, James has met a multitude of the region’s leaders. As a journalist, James covered primarily ethnic and religious conflict, including some of recent history’s most dramatic events such as the 1973 Middle East war; the Lebanese civil war; the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the U.S.-backed insurgency that ultimately led to the withdrawal of Soviet troops; the Palestinian intifadas; the Iranian revolution, U.S. embassy hostage crisis and the Iran-Iraq war; the Iraqi invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein; the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; the wars in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia; the armed struggles in the Western Sahara, Algeria, the Philippines, Kashmir, Eritrea, Tigre, the Ogaden, Chad, Niger, Chechnya, the Caucasus and Georgia; the Columbian drug cartels; the fall of Noriega in Panama; the wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador; the Kurdish insurgency in south-eastern Turkey, post-revolution Iran and Saddam’s Iraq; and the war on terror. James writes a widely acclaimed blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, has published a book with the same title, and authors a syndicated column. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences, workshops and seminars and is consulted by governments, corporations and judicial authorities. James won the Dolf van den Broek prize in 2003 and was a two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 and 1988 as well as was a finalist for the 2012 European Press Prize; the Kurt Schork Award and the Amnesty International Media Award in 2002 and the Index on Censorship Award in 2012. James also co-directs the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Wuerzburg.
Shuttle Bus Service:
A shuttle bus service is available from the taxi stand (F46) at Buona Vista MRT via Exit C to [email protected] from 2.00 – 3.00 pm
(See attached location map)