Forging an Anti-Bandung: Saudi Arabia and East Asia's Cold War
Mohammed Alsudairi – 2023
During the course of the Cold War, Saudi Arabia cultivated close relations with the anti-communist states of East Asia. This development, this article argues, was driven by the shared positional marginality experienced by these actors vis-à-vis the Third World bloc. Unable to participate in the postcolonial possibilities unleashed in the mid-twentieth century, these states drew upon each other's visions of pan-Islamism and anti-communism to forge an “anti-Bandung.” As threats from the global Left intensified by the late 1960s, their reactionary solidarity transformed into an informal yet highly strategic alliance that lasted until the end of the global Cold War. This article calls for a broader conceptualization of inter-Asian and Afro-Asian solidarities that incorporates the narratives and activities of the non-Western Right and provides a new reading of Cold War Saudi Arabia that considers its complicated entanglements with Asia-centric anti-communist internationalism.