For analysts, the Asia tour of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – the largest outing on the international scene for the Saudi royal since his participation in the G20 summit in Argentina last December – is a timely demonstration to the West that he still has friends in rising Asia. He “wants to demonstrate that he is not an international pariah”, said James M. Dorsey, a researcher at RSIS in Singapore. It is a matter of proving that he still has “international access and he can function… as the most senior representative of Saudi Arabia beyond the king”. The prince’s trip also includes an important economic component. “China is the largest buyer of Saudi crude, and Saudi Arabia’s other largest clients are all Asian: India, Japan, South Korea,” said Dorsey.
Last updated on 18/02/2019