Gulf Arab states already enjoy robust and well-established trade relations with East Asia, especially in the energy sector. These ties are emerging as the basis for expanded cooperation in other areas, including military and intelligence collaboration, arms sales, and technology transfers, in particular with China. For many East Asian countries, dependence on oil and gas imports is a strategic and security concern. Expanding and consolidating economic, diplomatic, and military ties to East Asia is, similarly, a key element of foreign policy strategy for several of the GCC countries.
AGSIW is pleased to host this panel discussion on the GCC countries and East Asia, examining existing ties and beyond.
AGSIW’s Gulf Rising series analyzes the energized role of the Gulf Arab states in the international system, looking beyond GCC relations with the United States to examine ties with other key countries and regions. Additionally, it investigates motivations behind Gulf Arab states’ foreign policy choices and evaluates the implications for U.S. foreign policy toward the GCC states and the region.
A light lunch will be served.
Unable to attend? Watch live at 12:30 pm EST on Wednesday February 28. Follow the conversation on Twitter: #GCCEastAsia.
Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs as well as a former U.S. assistant secretary of defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia, acting assistant secretary of state for African affairs, and chargé d’affaires in both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal U.S. interpreter during President Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972.) Freeman chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its U.S. and foreign clients create ventures across borders. Freeman is the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East, was published in May 2016. Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, appeared in March 2013. America’s Misadventures in the Middle East came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of The Diplomat’s Dictionary, the companion volume to Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He was the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on “diplomacy.” Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan, and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University as well as a JD from the Harvard Law School.
Haihong Gao is the director of research at the Center for International Finance at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of World Economics and Politics. She is also a senior fellow at CASS; guest professor at China Foreign Affairs University; standing director of the council, China Society of World Economy; and chief economist of the Network of East Asian Think-Tanks, China Working Group. She is the author of The Renminbi Exchange Rate: Policy Options and Risk Prevention from a Global Perspective, 2008. Additionally, Gao co-authored G20 and Global Economic Governance, 2016; Revealing China’s Shadow Banking System, 2014; and The International Financial System: Reform and Reconstruction, 2013. Gao earned an MSc in international money, finance, and investment form the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, as well as a master’s and bachelor’s in economics from Peking University.
Mohammed Al-Sudairi is a research fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Saudi Arabia. He is currently pursuing his PhD in comparative politics at the University of Hong Kong. He holds a master’s in international relations from Peking University, and a degree in international history from the London School of Economics. Al-Sudairi is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He is fluent in Arabic, English, and Mandarin. His research interests encompass Sino-Middle Eastern relations, Islamic and leftist connections between East Asia and the Arab World, and Chinese politics.
Bingbing Wu is the deputy director of the Department of Arabic Language and Culture and director of the Institute of Arab-Islamic Culture at Peking University. He is a fellow at the China Association of Middle East Studies and deputy secretary general of the China Arabic Language Education Association. He additionally contributes to multiple Washington, DC think tanks, including the Middle East Institute, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He previously taught as a visiting professor at Kuwait University and Damascus University. His research focuses on Shia Islam, the ummah and Islamic society, jihad and terrorism, secularism in the Arab world, and relations between China and the Middle East. He holds a PhD in Arabic language and literature from Peking University.
Hussein Ibish is a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He is a weekly columnist for The National (UAE) and a regular contributor to many other U.S. and Middle Eastern publications. He has made thousands of radio and television appearances and was the Washington, DC correspondent for The Daily Star (Beirut). Ibish previously served as a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, and executive director of the Hala Salaam Maksoud Foundation for Arab-American Leadership from 2004-09. From 1998-2004, Ibish served as communications director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He has a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.