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Will U.S.-China rivalry lead to further Middle East instability? Updated: 2020-08-18 05:31:08 KST

Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed last Thursday to establish full diplomatic ties, in a breakthrough deal brokered by the United States.
It's only the third peace deal Israel has reached with an Arab country, since becoming an independent state in 1948.
Not only are there expectations for greater trade and diplomatic ties between the two sides but also hope for wider regional peace and stability.
But the Trump administration-brokered deal also comes at a time when China's influence is expanding in the region, causing many to wonder if the deal was only designed to offset Beijing's growing regional clout.
We discuss this today with James M. Dorsey, senior fellow at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.
We also have Samuel Ramani, a doctoral candidate in Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. He's joining us from Toronto, Canada today.

1.
The Israel-UAE deal is being seen as a breakthrough. What's in it for Israel and the UAE to actually sign on the dotted line? Are they trying to counter Iran's influence?


2.
What are the biggest benefits and will the deal lead to greater stability in the region?


3.
Do you think the Israel-UAE deal will give the U.S. greater leverage in the region, as other outside players like China and Russia expand their presence?


4.
What do you make of China and Iran's increasingly closer ties in recent weeks? How will a China-Iran alliance change the geo-political dimension?


5.
Four of China's five major partners in the region -- Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Iraq --are also U.S. allies. Will they side with the U.S.? How can the U.S. persuade Gulf states to limit their engagement with Beijing?


6.
The U.S. has been looking to downsize its military presence around the world including in the Middle East. Does this leave a gap for China to step in, and how do Middle Eastern leaders view Beijing?


7.
For the time being, what is your outlook for regional stability? Will the UAE-Israel deal lead to a wider recognition of Israel in the region, or further escalate tensions?


That was James M. Dorsey, senior fellow at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University and Samuel Ramani, a doctoral candidate in Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. Thank you for joining us
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Reporter : osy@arirang.com
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