‘Stick or twist’ sums up the changes of political power in America and China last month. President Obama won another four-year-term in Washington, while Xi Jinping assumed stewardship of China. This intricate ‘Chimerican’ relationship is fundamental to the global outlook anywhere you care to look, and nowhere more so than the Middle East.

External security provision is still provided by the West, while economic pull has shifted to the East. Sounds a simple division of labour, but the ‘roles’ actually become very confused once you take a closer look. Squaring this awkward ‘Chimerican’ circle is a tough ask for Gulf States to get right without power vacuums appearing, but it’s absolutely critical to their geo-economic and geopolitical future to do so over the next four years.

In this months issue Matthew Hulbert analyzes China’s growing economic role in the Gulf and how the fact that the US no longer needs Middle East Oil could impact the region.

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