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Ruthless power battles in Middle East give Asia a golden chance

China and South Korea keen to exploit Israeli-Arab rapprochement

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump poses with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates after signing the Abraham Accords in Washington on Sept. 15, 2020.    © AP

TOKYO -- Many Asian countries depend heavily on oil from the Middle East to meet their energy needs. In particular, Japan buys more than 90% of its imported crude oil from the region. Now a geopolitical earthquake of an unprecedented scale is rocking the region, with potentially huge implications for Japan and the rest of Asia.

China and South Korea have already sensed new strategic opportunities. Last December, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia and signed a comprehensive strategic partnership in energy, high tech and other areas. The following month, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol traveled to the United Arab Emirates, which agreed to invest $30 billion in 13 South Korean projects in such fields as energy, defense and space.

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