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New arms race alert for Bahrain

Manama, September 22, 2011

The rise of countries in the Asia-Pacific region could lead to an arms race, which could have foreign policy implications for Bahrain and other nations in the Middle East, an expert on global affairs has warned.

Speaking in Manama yesterday (September 21), director of studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Adam Ward called for restraint - particularly by China and the US.

'Economic co-dependency exists between the US and China, but this has not done enough to smother any development in China,' he told an audience during a talk at the IISS offices at Bahrain Financial Harbour.

'The situation between them may follow an action, reaction, counter-reaction dynamic, which will become predominantly an arms race. Self-restraint from both powers is needed so that this aspect does not overwhelm other economic or diplomatic relations.'

He added mutual suspicion between India and China could also drive military competition between them.

'India sees growing relations between China and Pakistan as part of a strategy to encircle India and keep it in the southern hemisphere and prevent any further development,' said  Ward.

'China feels the same about India in respect to the Indian Ocean and those states which share access to that stretch of sea.'

With Russia and Japan also wielding power, he warned about the consequences of 'state-to-state antagonisms, territorial disputes and feuds' - with China seen as the biggest threat.

'The Asia-Pacific is a multi-polar region with China, Russia, Japan, India and the US acting as the main proponents of power,' he explained.

'It would be impossible to create an overarching security system over them all, stemming from a single institution such as Nato in Europe. The region is a set of sub-regions, made up of state-to-state antagonisms, territorial disputes and feuds,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Nato | Asia Pacific | IISS | arms race |

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