GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
First Name:
Title of Paper:
Asian Security for Gulf Stability: Prospects and Challenges
Paper Proposal Text :
Seldom does the discussion on Gulf-Asia relations focus beyond the expanding economic ties between the oil-rich producers and some of the biggest energy consumers. Exploring the ‘what next’ dimension of this engagement reveals tentative, but interesting, attempts to diversify towards ‘strategic’ cooperation that offer alternative possibilities for Gulf security and stability in the long term.

It appears, however, that the progress of any Asian country’s strategic role in the region impinges on several regional and external players having their own interests and concerns. Hence, rather than an individual country, an Asian cooperative approach would serve the purpose better.

Asia’s long-term interests cannot allow it to remain dependant on the United States for the security of its energy supply chain. Simultaneously, the US economic decline is adversely impacting its political and military influence, both regionally and globally. There is also evidence of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries thinking out of the box and exploring strategic engagement beyond the exclusive arrangement they have had with Washington for decades.

Such a milieu opens doors for other players to pursue a broader cooperative approach. Influential Asian countries like China, India, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Pakistan, among others, committed to Gulf security, must develop an arrangement that encourages not only economic and political cooperation, but also explores an alternative and broad-based security architecture in the Gulf. The expanding defence capabilities, especially the navies of some Asian countries like India and China, are particularly relevant to the region.

The proposed paper will focus on the recent security developments in the GCC countries, India and China and evaluate the prospects for competition, cooperation and confrontation among them and between them, especially Sino-Indian ties in the Gulf region. Iran would prominently figure in the scrutiny, since all these countries have varied degrees of interaction with the Islamic Republic, which would impact the course each one adopts in relation to the other in the long run.