Asian Studies

The Asian Studies Unit was created in 2015. The Unit is dedicated to the study of East Asia (China, the Koreas, and Japan) and East Asian societies in the political, economic, social, cultural and religious spheres. As one of the more regionally specialized units at the KFCRIS, the Asian Studies Unit aims to promote greater understanding of the wider East Asian region within the Arab world. It also seeks to enhance the quality of academic, journalistic, and policy making discussions surrounding the region and its ever more complex relationship to Saudi Arabia and the broader Middle East.

Contact: malsudairi@kfcris.com



Mohammed Al-Sudairi, Non-resident Senior Researcher

Publications at the KFCRIS:

“Changing State-Religion Dynamics in Xi-Jinping's China: And its Consequences for Sino-Saudi Relations”Dirasat 19, January 2017.

“Some Observations on the Significance of President Xi Jinping’s visit and the Problem of the Sino-Saudi Relationship”, Commentary, September 2017.



Wan Lei, Senior Research Fellow

Special Project: Translation of Chinese-language Archival Material on the Arab World from the Tang and Song eras.

Publications at the KFCRIS:

“Etymology and Evolution of the Term Huizu”, Qiraat 3, April 2016.

“The First Chinese Travel Record on the Arab World - Commercial and Diplomatic Communications during the Islamic Golden Age”, Qiraat 7, December 2016 – January 2017.

"The Earliest Muslim Communities in China”, Qiraat 8, October - November 2017.


Othman Almazyad, Nonresident Research Fellow

“Reasons for the Continuity and Longevity of Japanese Companies”, Special Report, December 2017 (Political Economy Unit publication).


Shahad Turkistani, Assistant Researcher


Associate Fellows

Wang Tingyi, PhD Candidate at Tsinghua University


Visiting Scholars

Hyeju Jeong, PhD Candidate at Duke University

Period of Stay: January 2017 – July 2017

Publications at the KFCRIS:

“A Song of the Red Sea: Communities and Networks of Chinese Muslims in the Hijaz”Dirasat 13, July 2016.





Sino-Saudi Cultural Dialogue Month (January 2018)

Public Lecture: Professor Agius Dionisius (Exeter University), “The Road to China: Seaborne Exploration in Medieval Islam”, 29 January 2018.

Public Lecture: Dr. Yan Xuetong (Tsinghua University), “China and the Changing World Order”,22 January 2018.

Workshop: Collaboration with the Institute for International and Strategic Studies (IISS) at Peking University (Professor Wang Jisi and Dr. Wu Bingbing), “China’s Great Power Relations in the New Era”, 14 January 2018.

Launch of the Chinese-language KFCRIS website, 14 January 2018.


Workshop: Collaboration with Dr. Wang Yuting (American University of Sharjah) and Dr. Chai Shaojin (UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development), “Chinese Soft Power: from the Age of Mao to the Age of Xi”,29 November 2017.

Presentation: Mohammed Al-Sudairi, “The Mikado as an Oriental Khalifah: A Cursory Look at Arab Writings on Japan and Chinese Muslims at the Turn of the Century”, Tokyo University-KFCRIS Joint-Workshop, 6 September 2017.

Delegation Visit to China: KFCRIS General-Secretary, Saud Al-Sarhan, participated in Tsinghua University’s World Peace Forum. Collaborative Workshop held with the Institute for International and Strategic Studies (IISS) at Peking University, June 21-29 2017.

Public Lecture: Makio Yamada, “The Political Economy of East Asia-Saudi Arabia Relations”, University of Hong Kong, 13 March 2017 (in collaboration with the Political Economy Unit).

Workshop: Collaboration with Professor Wang Jisi (Peking University), Dr. Wu Bingbing (Peking University), Professor Tim Niblock (University of Exeter), and Mr. Wang Tingyi (Tsinghua University), “The GCC and China: Towards a Strategic Partnership”,5 April 2017.


Symposium: Collaboration with Dr. Yan Xiaojun (The University of Hong Kong) and Mr. Chen Xinwei, “China under President Xi Jinping: The Political and Economic Landscape”,17 October 2016.




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