Yoram Evron, University of Haifa
EAST ASIA FORUM - 28 April 2017
Over the years, China and Japan have followed very different paths of involvement in the Middle East. The one policy that both countries have consistently shared though is steering well clear of the region’s politics and conflicts. This is starting to change.
China and Japan are both highly dependent on Middle Eastern energy
sources and are interested in expanding their economic interests in this
area. Both countries are also trying to strengthen their political
stance in the region and become more involved in big power Middle East
But are the two countries’ competing trajectories in the Middle East related to the broader Sino–Japanese rivalry?
At face value, competition over access to energy sources seems like
the greatest source of Sino–Japanese competition in the Middle East,
with a direct contest over the development of some oilfields already
happening. But looking deeper, it does not seem like their decisions
concerning investments and other economic activities in the Middle
East’s energy sector are dominated by their confrontation elsewhere.