1st Edition

East-West Asia Relations in the 21st Century From Bilateral to Interregional Relationships

Edited By Rotem Kowner, Yoram Evron, P.R. Kumaraswamy Copyright 2024

    This book examines the changing relations between the Asian part of the Middle East and the rest of the continent during the 21st century. Written by leading experts, this ground-breaking volume utilizes a comprehensive and multi-dimensional perspective to offer a novel and unique outlook on the evolving shape of East-West Asia relations and their global impact. Critically, it demonstrates that the intensification and diversification of East-West Asia relations since the 1990s have altered them from a set of separated bilateral ties into complex interregional relations.

    The book presents a nuanced, comparative look at Asian countries’ responses to global developments, and China’s rise in particular, and offers a new perspective on the very concept of Asia itself. It will be of interest to scholars, students, and practitioners working in the fields of International Relations, Asian Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies.



    1. East and West Asia in the Twenty-First Century: From Bilateral to Interregional Relationships                                                               

    Yoram Evron, Rotem Kowner, and P.R. Kumaraswamy


    I. West Asia, East Asia, and the World Powers


    2. Fluid Triangle: Shifting Cold War Alliances between Beijing, Moscow, and Washington in the Middle East                               

    Yitzhak Shichor


    3. Russia, India, and China in the Middle East: Emerging Power Behavior under Uncertain Conditions                                           

    Guy Burton


    4. India, the United States, and the Middle East: From Going Alone to Bandwagoning?                                                                             

    P.R. Kumaraswamy


    5. Does the Middle East Matter? Unpacking China’s New Role in the Middle East                                                                                    

    Chuchu Zhang


    II. The Growing Role of the Middle East for East Asia


    6. China Makes Risky Bets, No More So Than in the Middle East  

    James M. Dorsey


    7. The Gulf Cooperation Council’s Relations with China: Developmental Partnership and Strategic Dividends                    

    Sameena Hameed


    8. Chinese Trade and Investment Ties with Egypt in the Era of Great Power Competition                                                                        

    Mordechai Chaziza


    9. Japan in the Middle East: A Complex Web of Partnerships and Shifting Priorities                                                                          

    Christopher K. Lamont


    10. The South Korean Sanctions Dilemma: How to Impose and Bypass Sanctions on North Korea and Iran                                   

    Alon Levkowitz


    III. The Growing Role of East Asia for the Middle East         


    11. East-West Asian Energy Relations: Geopolitical Implications of a Strategic Cooperation

    Fabio Indeo


    12. Straddling between West and East: East: Turkey’s Relations with East Asia in the Twenty-First Century

    Md. Muddassir Quamar


    13. A Partial Shift Eastward: Israel’s Improving Ties with Asia in the Twenty-First Century

    Yoram Evron and Rotem Kowner




    14. Concluding Remarks: East-West Asia Relations and the Regionalization of the International System                                 

    Anoushiravan Ehteshami


    Rotem Kowner is a Professor of Japanese Studies and History at the University of Haifa, Israel.

    Yoram Evron is an Associate Professor of Chinese studies and Political Science at the University of Haifa, Israel.

    P.R. Kumaraswamy is a Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India.

    'With its impressively expansive and detailed sweep, this volume makes an extremely valuable contribution to our understanding of the rapidly changing dynamics between East and West Asia. Situating them in the wider strategic context of great power rivalry, the volume looks at key actors’ approaches not through the usual bilateral or functional prisms but through a genuinely cross-regional approach – making for an innovative reframing of even familiar issues. Including most of the best scholars in the field, this is a book that will be of great use to academics and policy practitioners alike.'

    Andrew Small, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, Indo-Pacific Program, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the author of The China-Pakistan Axis (Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2015)

    'This volume provides a rich and multifaceted examination of the complex interregional relationship between East and West Asia in the twenty-first century. With contributions from leading scholars and experts, it offers a thorough and insightful examination of the strategic, economic, and political aspects of bilateral and multilateral relations between the two regions. It also contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities for China-West Asia cooperation during a period of intense great power competition in the region. Overall, this volume adds significantly to the literature and is a must-read for anyone interested in the shifting contours of today’s global landscape.”'

    Sujata Ashwarya, Professor of Western Asian Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India, and the author of India-Iran Relations (Routledge, 2017) and co-editor of Contemporary West Asia (Routledge, 2017)

    'This is a very fruitful and thought-provoking book. After the rise of Western powers in the 19th century, East Asia and West Asia drifted apart and formed their respective sub-regions. In the process of globalization and, in particular, Asia’s rise, East-West Asian countries have rediscovered their historical affinities and have built closer political, economic, energy, and cultural ties. At present, their relations are shifting from “back-to-back” to “face-to-face.” Based on multilingual sources, inter-disciplinary methodologies, and rigorous research, this book sheds light on domains, features, and trends of East-West Asia complex relations bilaterally and inter-regionally.'

    Degang Sun, Professor and Director of Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

    'East-West Asia Complex in the 21st Century offers a comprehensive assessment of the complex interregional, multifunctional interactions between the Middle East and East Asia. Written by a diverse collection of leading scholars with deep expertise in these economic, political, and strategic relations, this book contributes significantly to the scholarly literature by broadening understanding of the two-way interactions between various countries in these sub-regions. This empirically rich, up-to-date analysis will be welcomed by scholars and students alike for its novel approach to examining relations between these critical sub-regions in an increasingly interconnected world.'

    Dawn C. Murphy, Associate Professor of National Security Strategy, US National War College, and the author of China’s Rise in the Global South (Stanford University Press, 2022)