MBS’s visit to Pakistan, India, and China does not mean that Riyadh is more inclined towards the east than the west. Mohammed bin-Salman’s (MBS) trip was intended towards boosting relations with the Asian countries to keep up with balanced diplomacy, says the article published in the Chinese Global Times.
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According to the article published in the Chinese Global Times, Saudi Arabia is no more dependent on the West as it has realized that Western countries are not always dependable. Like former King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi crown prince MBS is following “Look East” policy. However, it does not mean Saudi Arabia will cut ties with the West rather it means that they are in favor of balanced diplomacy.
“This feature of Saudi Arabian diplomacy is in line with the trend in global politics. The world order is changing. The US is no longer capable of dominating others. The West has to acknowledge a multipolar world as well as China’s rise”, said the article.
Earlier, the small and medium-sized countries used to be influenced by the US. But in the current scenario which has noticed a rise in the multipolar world, these countries looking for more balanced diplomacy. The recent trip of MBS to Asia also arises from considerations of Saudi’s economic interests.
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China and India are important oil customers. Saudi Arabia as an oil exporting country desire for a stable market that can guarantee payments. “Oil is a key revenue earner for the country. China and India are two such markets”, says the Chinese Global Times article.
Further, the article talks about the crown prince’s mission to develop sustainably along with the security saying,” Keeping closer ties with Pakistan, India, and China is based on these needs. This is the main purpose of MBS’s Asian tour.
Riyadh’s interests are not only confined to energy. The global economic development is slowing down, hence the demand for oil is on the decline. The growing use of new energy is also taking a toll on the demand for crude”.
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Saudi Arabia’s development matrix wants to achieve “Vision 2030” that totally depends on many factors. “Saudi Arabia hopes to cooperate with more countries to simultaneously develop many areas,” says the article.
During the visit to Pakistan, MBS signed agreements to develop an oil refinery in Gwadar where China’s CPEC project is going on. Saudi’s investment in CPEC means support for China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
On February 19, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, “The CPEC will not only benefit the people of China and Pakistan but also help the region enhance economic cooperation and connectivity and realize common development. China stands ready to engage in third-party cooperation with Pakistan on the basis of consensus.”
“On February 18, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the Arab state was trying to de-escalate tensions between the two countries [India and Pakistan], neighboring countries, and to see if there is a path forward to resolving those differences peacefully”, according to the BBC quoted the article.
“Saudi Arabia maintains friendly relations with both countries though it has closer ties with Pakistan than with India. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are Islamic countries and Riyadh considers itself the leader of the Islamic world, hoping to maintain its leadership. However, its influence in the Islamic world is waning as a result of declining economic strength as well as its faulty policies on issues such as Syria and the embargo of Qatar”, said the Chinese Global Times.
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