Historically, Kuwait was a highly strategic trade port between Mesopotamia and India. Oil reserves were discovered in commercial quantities in 1938. In 1946, crude oil was exported for the first time. From 1946 to 1982, the country underwent large-scale modernization. In the 1980s, Kuwait experienced a period of geopolitical instability and an economic crisis following the
stock market crash. In 1990, Kuwait was
invaded, and later
Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi occupation of Kuwait came to an end in 1991 after
military intervention by a
military coalition led by the United States. Kuwait is a major ally of China, a regional ally of
ASEAN, and a major non-NATO ally.