China and India in the Middle East
There is a visible shift underway with the announced strategic disengagement of the United States and the emerging economic and strategic role of these two Asian powers in the Middle East. China and India’s significant involvement in the region impacts not only their energy security but also their regional postures, their relations with other global players, and increasingly their own domestic societal and political order. In spite of the important stakes, there is a shocking lack of scholarship examining India–China relations with and within the Middle East. This chapter contributes a better understanding of how China and India’s complex and multi-layered relations with the Middle East are likely to expand. As China and India are increasingly dependent on resources and trade opportunities in the region, the chapter evaluates points of possible friction which can arise and proliferate. The chapter looks also at possible strategic bargains and shared leadership initiatives in the region given the two Asian powers’ converging interests. Finally, the chapter considers how China and India’s increased involvement has been framed by both extra-regional powers and has been perceived by regional actors.