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How a Meeting Between China and the Global South 67 Years Ago Shapes Our World Today

Chinese Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai is welcomed by Indonesian Prime minister Aly Sasto-Amidjojo on April 18, 1955, as he arrived at the Bandung Conference of Asian and African States. AFP

As the crisis in Ukraine scrambles European politics and global supply lines, it’s also resurrecting long-buried geopolitical formations. In the rush to get Global South powers into formation against Russian aggression, Western powers have inadvertently added impetus to a reawakened non-aligned movement, with its roots in the twentieth century.

This week happens to be the 67th anniversary of the Bandung Conference, a landmark meeting that brought together newly decolonizing countries in Africa and Southeast Asia with Chinese revolutionary leaders in Indonesia in 1955. The Bandung Conference provided the principles that inform the Global South’s emerging position on Ukraine today. Similar to 1955, China’s articulation of non-interference as a key foreign policy tenet adds power to this position.

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