James M Dorsey

James M Dorsey

Commentator

James M Dorsey is an award-winning journalist and commentator on foreign affairs who has covered ethnic and religious conflict and terrorism across the globe for more than three decades.

Opinions/Stories

Subtly, China pressures Gulf states to reduce regional tensions

Relying on scholars rather than officials, China is signalling to Gulf states adjustments they would have to make to enable China to become more engaged in regional security and geopolitics.

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Masters of the Pearl: Understanding Qatar critically

Michael Quentin Morton, author of nine books on the Gulf and oil, brings an understanding of Qatari history to the table based on extensive research and the fact that he lived in Qatar and UAE at…

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US Secretary of State Pompeo set to boost Indonesian religious reform efforts

Mr Pompeo’s engagement with Nahdlatul Ulama, a powerful Islamic grouping in Indonesia, with an estimated following of 50 million people, takes on added significance against the backdrop of the…

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War in the Caucasus: One more effort to shape a new world order

An Azeri success in clawing back some Armenian-occupied areas of Azerbaijan, captured by Armenia in the early 1990s, would bolster Baku’s bid to be the Caspian’s premier port at the crossroads of…

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Critical reflections on China’s Belt and Road Initiative

The book is about much more than the material aspects of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In fact, various chapter authors use the Belt and Road to look at the most fundamental issue of our times…

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The Battle for Jerusalem: Turkey’s Erdogan stakes his claim

In July, Mr. Erdogan described that month’s return of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, a sixth century Orthodox-church-turned-mosque-turned-museum, to the status of a Muslim house of worship as paving…

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China’s Belt and Road Initiative pinpoints fundamental issues of our times

Mr Chong conceptualises in his chapter perceived tolerance along ancient silk roads as stemming from what he terms ‘mercantile harmony’ among peoples and elites rather than states. It was rooted,…

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Shaping Palestinian politics: The UAE has a leg up on Turkey

The UAE, with whom Mr Erdogan is at loggerheads over Libya, Syria, and the future of political Islam, may have less clout than it thinks in bringing Israelis and Palestinians back to the…

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The UAE-Israel deal’s historicity is in the fine print

Included in the agreement are references that are key to foundational Israeli arguments asserting the right of the Jewish people to a state on what was once predominantly Arab land rather than…

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Controversial Israeli soccer club may be litmus test for UAE soft power ploy

It was not immediately clear whether the offer was to acquire or co-invest in Beitar Jerusalem, notorious for its links to the ruling Likud party and the Israeli far-right as well as racist anti-…

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Will they or won’t they? Saudi recognition of Israel is the $64,000 question

Bahrain’s announcement that it would follow in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates was as much a Bahraini move as it was a Saudi signal that it is not opposed to normalization with Israel.…

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UAE recognition of Israel dents Emirati religious soft power

The setback raises questions about the UAE’s strategy of co-opting prominent Muslim scholars with financial incentives to project the Gulf state as a model of tolerance that seeks to promote a…

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Resolving the tug of war in the Middle East amid coronavirus crisis

Like the Gulf states, China has long relied on the US defence umbrella to ensure the security of the flow of energy and other goods through waters surrounding the Gulf

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Chinese policy towards Sri Lanka tells a cautionary tale

China is using liability as a diplomatic tool.

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How big power rivalry is likely to unfold in the Gulf region

The real litmus test of the United States’ ability to counter China's growing footprint is likely to be in the Gulf.

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