HomeEconomic IndicatorChina's diplomatic approach becomes gentler as President Xi Jinping tackles domestic obstacles,...

China’s diplomatic approach becomes gentler as President Xi Jinping tackles domestic obstacles, says Reuters analysis.

China Adopts Softer Approach in Dealing with the World Amid Domestic Economic Challenges

China has recently adopted a more conciliatory tone in its international relations, signaling a shift in its approach towards rivals and partners. This change comes as President Xi Jinping grapples with significant economic issues at home.

China’s Efforts to Reassure the World

China’s current approach aims to assure the world that its economic activities remain unaffected amidst domestic challenges. The country seeks to maintain stable relationships with the United States, its allies in Asia and Europe, and foreign investors.

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As part of this effort, China released Australian news anchor Cheng Lei after three years of detention on national security grounds. This move indicates the warming relationship between China and Australia, paving the way for a visit by the Australian Prime Minister.

Furthermore, China has extended an invitation to the United States to attend an upcoming defense forum in Beijing, indicating a potential thaw in military exchanges. President Xi Jinping also expressed positive sentiments towards a U.S. delegation led by Senator Chuck Schumer.

On the economic front, China has agreed to a $4.2 billion debt restructuring deal with Sri Lanka and has signed a memorandum of understanding to restructure Zambian debt. These measures aim to strengthen China’s ties with developing countries and counter the perception that its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) leads to “debt trap diplomacy.”

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China’s Motivations

The shift in China’s diplomatic strategy can be attributed to various factors. President Xi Jinping aims to retain multinational companies in China and prevent the country from being cut off from the global supply chain. This is crucial, given the economic downturn, capital flight, property crisis, and high youth unemployment plaguing China.

China also seeks to deepen political and trade ties with developing countries, both for economic reasons and as part of its vision for a multipolar world order. The country wants to position the BRI as a development initiative akin to the post-World War Two U.S. Marshall Plan.

Challenges and Future Outlook

Despite these conciliatory measures, tensions between China and other nations are likely to resurface in the future. China’s ongoing maritime disputes in the South China Sea with the Philippines demonstrate that not all issues have been resolved.

Additionally, China’s diplomatic efforts may face challenges due to internal complications, such as the recent disappearances of Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Defense Chief Li Shangfu. These incidents have complicated President Xi Jinping’s efforts to focus on foreign policy and security matters.

In the context of upcoming U.S. elections and the possibility of a return to the presidency by Donald Trump, it is unlikely that President Joe Biden will make significant concessions to China on core issues. Furthermore, any Chinese military exercises ahead of Taiwan’s January elections will further strain relations with the West.

While the current engagement may provide temporary relief, analysts anticipate a future downturn in China’s international relations. The fundamental tensions in the relationship between China and other nations remain unresolved.

China’s recent conciliatory approach appears to be driven by its domestic economic challenges. However, the enduring nature of these changes remains uncertain, and tensions are expected to resurface in the future.

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