“Diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for a new era” – what is it? These are Beijing’s formulations regarding the country’s international achievements in the period between party congresses: the 18th, which was in 2012, and the current, 20th, which opens in ten days – on October 16. That is, in fact, during the reign of Xi Jinping .
The congresses of the ruling party, like elections, are useful in any country not only for the rotation of a part of the top leadership, but also for taking stock of the path traveled and identifying the next area of work. What the Chinese political system is doing these days is giving out a lot of good information and assessments of it. This is done on all topics, but we, outside of China , should be interested in the foreign policy principles of the main partner in the world above all else.
And there are two important posts here. The first is an article by the country’s leader Xi Jinping in the theoretical party magazine Qiushi (Search for Truth): an article about everything, but above all, about the essence of the moment experienced by the world and, accordingly, the country. And here it is clear that the leadership understands very well: a great struggle has begun in a world that is full of threats and challenges. The struggle of China itself in this case is for the completion of the national revival, that is, for the return to the power of a place on the planet, which for centuries was by no means the last.
And the second publication – in the People’s Daily – is specifically about Chinese diplomacy in the new, that is, the current era. Basically, we are talking about the diplomacy that already exists – it has been formed over ten years.
And here it must be said with regret that diplomacy may have been formed, but the traditional Chinese style of composing such texts is a real barrier between this country and the world. A lot of letters, a lot of repetitions of the same thing, obligatory references to the role of top leaders with all the wording necessary in such cases … In general, a translation is needed here in every sense of the word.
Indeed, what is “a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equality, justice and beneficial cooperation”? And this is, in fact, the goal of “global governance reform”, which would lead to the abandonment of the “winner takes all” approach. We do not need such an approach, but we need “an international community with a common future and a global security community for all.”
Here, of course, is a grand exercise in idealism: Does China want to change the world? It is worth looking at what is happening in this world in the era of the current “great controversy” in order to understand that we are talking about an unbearably ideal situation in which the current outrages would be impossible.
But without idealism there can be no progress. If diplomacy and any other kind of human activity does not have a clear idea of \u200b\u200bwhat goals should be achieved, then there will be no diplomacy itself – and nothing at all. It will remain to sit still and be horrified by what others are doing.
But let’s not forget that the goal is the goal, and diplomacy is only a means to achieve it. How can we designate this very diplomacy performed by Beijing ? Especially considering that the most complex doctrine or philosophical system can always be expressed in one simple phrase. And this phrase in this case is as follows: for many years now, Beijing has emphatically and defiantly not forced any of its partners to do anything. This, by the way, is not idealism, it’s just that it really is better. Because today you force, and then tomorrow will come.
Here is another article from the Chinese media, in which, on the contrary, everything is simple and clear – because it is always easier to scold others than to put forward bright ideals. This publication is called “There is no diplomacy for the United States, except the diplomacy of coercion.”
Media: China and Russia want to oust the US from Europe and Asia
And here there is a minimum of slogans and generalizations, but a maximum of specifics. The main idea is simple: the outgoing superpower does not know how to conduct normal diplomacy at all, for it there is, if not direct military intervention, then threats and pressure, clear and concrete or hovering in the air as an unspoken thought. And nothing more.
The specifics are, for example, that only American sanctions are currently imposed against 40 states of the world, and this is more than half of the world’s population. Only under Donald Trump , all sorts of restrictions were introduced on average three per day, some figures in the Biden administration criticized Trump for this, but now they are doing the same.
One more thing: not only those who are appointed opponents are subjected to pressure, but also friends and partners. The article describes how Matthew Pottinger, who is in charge of Asia at the National Security Council, yelled for hours at unnamed Britons to abandon Chinese 5G technology. And he achieved his goal, throwing this closest ally a few years back in terms of technology.
It is very difficult to notice what is not there. Let us recall that we are talking about China, a power roughly comparable to the United States in terms of economic and military power. And yet, over the years, it is difficult to find an example of how China puts any other countries (and they are smaller and weaker than it) into an intolerable position, forcing them to do something that they do not want to do. Powerful Chinese policy – is it curtailing business ties with Lithuania because of the latter’s flirting with Taiwan ? But this is not “coercive diplomacy”: Vilnius still had the opportunity to make its own voluntary choice. Pressed on him, perhaps someone else …
China: how China went from a third world country to a global leader
And it was completely expected what theses Western propaganda against China is built around – according to the principle “on the contrary.” China is known for not coercing anyone, not imposing any values, practices and actions on the world stage, which means that it must be regularly accused, for example, of giving other countries money to drive them into a “credit trap”. Or how can one not recall here the maniacally stubborn attempts to force the PRC to show its military muscles in the Taiwan Strait, trapping it in its own promises to “prevent” the declaration of independence of the island: the goal is simply for third countries to see that Beijing can also behave, if not how United States, then at least as one hundredth of those. And it doesn’t matter that this can happen only if China really steps on its foot, and not on its initiative.
The idealistic principles of Chinese diplomacy are bad in that they act vaguely and slowly. Other principles of Western anti-diplomacy are bad because, having used force and pressure once, you will cause hatred and will be forced to apply it again and again – incrementally, until everyone else gets tired of this situation.