AbstractThis article evaluates the current relations between Gulf monarchies and South Asian States (India, Pakistan) as well as China. Economic ties between the Arabian Peninsula and these Asian countries grew in earnest in recent years leading to the making of a popular narrative which states that this rapprochement is a consequence of the international redistribution of power from the West to the East. The narrative argues that in coming years the decline of the United States and European countries will lead to their retreat from their historical areas of influence. However the idea of a rising Gulf-Asian strategic nexus is shaped by misleading geopolitical determinism. It derives from the belief that Gulf and Asian countries are part of one and the same geopolitical space and implies that international relations are merely a zero-sum game according to which rising Saudi-China relations equate to declining Saudiâ€“US relations. This article challenges this narrative by arguing that despite these interactions, the Persian Gulf and Asia do not blend into an interregional entity or a â€˜meso-systemâ€™. Eventually national security considerations prevail and although bilateral ties between countries from the two areas are likely to grow in the economic domain, there is no reason to think that the two regional complexes will merge at the political and strategic levels.
Gulf; Asia; Saudi Arabia; security complex; India; Pakistan; China