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. As one of the more regionally specialized units at the KFCRIS, the Asian Studies Unit aims to promote greater understanding of East Asia within the Gulf and the wider Arab world. It also seeks to enhance the quality of academic, journalistic, and policy making coverage and discussions surrounding the region and its ever more complex relationship to Saudi Arabia and the broader Middle East. It is also purposed towards building connections with other Asia-focused research institutions and think tanks around the world.
The Unit’s research agenda is bifurcated between a focus on contemporary East Asian international relations, politics, economics, and security topics on the one hand, and a concentration on historical, anthropological and cultural-social issues on the other. This broad research agenda enables the Unit to engage with multiple disciplines, generate a diverse set of studies and, more importantly, allows it to maintain its fidelity to the spirit of KFCRIS as a think tank and academic institution.
Mohammed Al-Sudairi, Non-resident Senior Researcher
Visiting Scholar at the Institute for International and Strategic Studies (Peking University) from March to August 2018.
Publications at the KFCRIS:
“Changing State-Religion Dynamics in Xi-Jinping's China: And its Consequences for Sino-Saudi Relations,” Dirasat 19, January 2017.
Wan Lei, Non-Resident Research Fellow
Publications at the KFCRIS:
"The Earliest Muslim Communities in China,” Qiraat 8, October - November 2017.
“The First Chinese Travel Record on the Arab World - Commercial and Diplomatic Communications during the Islamic Golden Age,” Qiraat 7, December 2016 – January 2017.
“Etymology and Evolution of the Term Huizu,” Qiraat 3, April 2016.
Othman Almazyad, Non-Resident Research Fellow
Publications at the KFCRIS:
“Japanese Administration with a Different Perspective: Introduction to Basic Concepts,” Special Report, September 2018.
“Reasons for the Continuity and Longevity of Japanese Companies,” Special Report, December 2017 (Political Economy Unit publication).
Shahad Turkistani, Assistant Researcher
Sultan Al-Ansari, CSIS-KFCRIS “Reconnecting Asia” Project Researcher
Wang Tingyi, PhD Candidate at Tsinghua University
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.
Public Lecture: Dr. Kaoru Iokibe (University of Tokyo), “The Meiji Restoration: A Look into Japanese Modernization Efforts in the 19th and 20th centuries”, 30 September 2018.
Presentation: Shahad Turkestani, “The Future of Saudi-Japanese Relations under the New Transformations”, Center for Japanese Studies, Cairo University, 22-23 September 2018.
Workshop: Collaboration with Dr. Niu Xinchun with accompanying delegation (Chinese Institute of Contemporary International Relations) “Saudi domestic and regional affairs”, 19 September 2018.
Presentation: Mohammed Al-Sudairi, "Unifying Hearts and Minds: China's United Front Work Activity in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates”, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in Georgetown University, 10 August 2018.
Delegation Visit to China: KFCRIS General-Secretary, Saud Al-Sarhan and Researcher Mohammed al-Sudairi, participated in Tsinghua University’s ‘World Peace Forum’ (世界和平论坛). Collaborative Panel between Forum organizers and KFCRIS was held on the subject of “Middle East Peace”, 14-15 July 2018. Meeting held with The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries Research Center for People-to-People Diplomacy’s Director General Li Xinyu.
Exhibit: “Shēndu... Depth: The World behind the Lense” by Saudi Photographer Khalid Al-Sudairy, 8-12 May 2018 (in collaboration with the Museums Department).
Delegation Visit to China: Participation in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and China-Arab Reform and Development Research Centre’s ‘China-Arab States Reform and Development Forum’ (中国-阿拉伯国家改革发展论坛), 21-25 April 2018. Meeting held with Tsinghua University’s former President Gu Binglin and the Area Study Institute’s Associate Director Zhang Jing.
Meeting with the People’s Daily (人民日报) Middle East Bureau Chief, Mr. Huang Peizhao, and Middle East Correspondent Mr. Qu Xiangyu, 16 April 2018.
Presentation: Dr. Wan Lei, “The hardships of the alien merchants between the Arabic Gulf and Chinese coastal cities during the Tang and Song dynasties,” Chinese University of Hong Kong, March 2018.
Presentation: Dr. Jon B. Alterman (Center for Strategic and International Studies), “The Sino-American Rivalry in the Middle East and the Strategic Triangle,” 21 March 2018.
Workshop: Mohammed Al-Sudairi participation in Arab Gulf States Institute (Washington D. C.) roundtable, “Gulf Rising: GCC-East Asia Relations,” 28 February 2018.
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: Dr. Wan Lei, “Hui struggles for political privileges during the first half of the Republican China,” conference by the Chinese Hui Research Association and Weishan County Administration (Yunnan), November 2017.
Presentation: Dr. Wan Lei, “Two scholars and the Hui protest movement in 1932 – The Attitudes of Hu Shih and Lu Xun towards the Hui minority”, ‘Civilization Forum’ held by Ibn Haltun University, Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, and Alliance of Civilization Institute, October 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.
Presentation: Dr. Wan Lei, “Exploration on the intermarriages between the alien businessmen and local Chinese women in the Tang and Song dynasties,” annual meeting of the Chinese National Hui Studies Association, July 2017.
Delegation Visit to China: KFCRIS General-Secretary, Saud Al-Sarhan, participated in Tsinghua University’s ‘World Peace Forum’ (世界和平论坛). Collaborative Workshop was held with the Institute for International and Strategic Studies (IISS) at Peking University, 21-29 June 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.
Translation of Chinese-language Archival Material on the Arab World from the Tang and Song eras. Overseen by Dr. Wan Lei.
Reconnecting Asia Project.
Cooperation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS’ "Reconnecting Asia" project in Gulf-related data collection. Overseen by Sultan Al-Ansari on KFCRIS-side.
The reconnecting Asia initiative tracks infrastructure developments that are reshaping economic and geopolitical realities across the Asian continent. Through data curation and objective analysis, the project aims to fill Asia’s infrastructure-information gap. The objective of this partnership is to share data, increase transparency, and enable analysis.
To know more about this project, click here.
King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies
P.O. Box: 51049
Email Address: email@example.com