This chapter addresses the important relationships that are currently evolving between Russia, China, and the Middle East. Russia and China have emerged as increasingly powerful actors in the Middle East and their presence and influence in the region has grown significantly. While both states have had longstanding historical links with the region, the twenty-first-century panorama is a quite distinctive one, with new economic and geopolitical factors driving a return to Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In addition, significant Muslim populations in both countries add another dynamic to contemporary Russian and Chinese relations with MENA. The chapter then identifies the challenges this presents for the United States and the West, and how the states and peoples of the Middle East are responding to the resurgence of Russian and Chinese power in the region.
This concluding chapter explores the evolution and development of European approaches to the Middle East. An expansion of European imperial rule across the Middle East followed the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War. By the end of the twentieth century, the United States was unrivalled power-broker across the region, but the Europeans had turned old imperialist relationships into commercial ones. Bound to MENA by economic interdependence and migration flows, the European Union (EU) formulated a series of initiatives designed to address new transnational security concerns through the deployment of ‘soft power’. By 2011 and the eruption of popular uprisings across the Arab world, the EU was itself in the throes of an economic crisis that forced a rethink in European policies toward the region and a reassertion of bilateralism.