"The Vital Triangle"

Paper presented at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

For the United States, China's increasing involvement in the Middle East represents the convergence of two major security problems.  The first has to do with China's rise, which depending on whom you talk to, is something that needs to be accommodated or something that needs to be shaped.  The second has to do with energy security, which the United States began to take seriously after WWII and has taken incraesingly seriously since the Arab oil embargo of 1973-1974.  Each problem set has its own specialists, its own disputes, and its own dynamics, and the intersection between the two is an increasing preoccupation of analysts in Asia, in the Middle East, and in the United States.

Jon B. Alterman
Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director, Middle East Program