RUSI NewsbriefVOLUME 33ISSUE 4members only

Seven Years On: Saudi Arabia’s ‘Look East’ Diplomacy


Saudi Arabia continues to benefit from its growing ‘oil-for-technology’ exchange with East Asia, which is increasingly meeting the former’s need for demand security at the expense of Western influence.

At Janadriyah, Saudi Arabia’s annual National Heritage and Culture Festival, one country is invited each year to set up a pavilion showcasing its past and contemporary power. On one level, this offers one of the best venues for the selected country to enhance its soft-power influence among the Saudi public. More importantly, however, it signals that the Saudi leadership considers the chosen country to be a potential partner as it seeks to diversify its diplomatic engagement.

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