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ASIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST STRENGTHEN THEIR TIES

ASIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST STRENGTHEN THEIR TIES

The Wall Street Journal on May 3rd had a noteworthy front page story entitled "Oil Lubricates Asia-Mideast Ties"

Here are a few main points from the article:
1. The Arab nations of the Persian Gulf, dubbed by the East Asian countries as West Asia, "are spending $270 Billion on new energy projects alone between now and the end of the decade"
2. "Rising East Asian investment in the Middle East could prompt burgeoning powers China and India to take a more active interest in trying to stabilize the region".  Decisions in Delhi and Beijing could become as important as decisions made in Washington and Moscow have been traditionally.
3. The U.S. defense shield for the Saudi’s is still an important card for U.S. to play.
4. "two-thirds of all exports from West Asia including Iran and Saudi Arabia currently go to East Asia"
5."The increasing links between the gulf and Asia could have deep geopolitical ramifications… [This] contrasts with the hostility and suspicion between OPEC and the West in the oil-crisis-ridden 1970s."

The Asians have the good economic management [budget surpluses], and demand to create a wonderful market of the Middle East’s oil for a long time to come.  The Middle Eastern oil producers know that their bread is increasingly being buttered in Asia not in the West.  We look for more alliances between Asians and the Middle East, with the West conspicuously absent.