torsdag 9. mars 2023

China ups diplomatic offensive with drastic increase in budget – and hardened stance on US

After three years of largely self-imposed isolation on the global stage, China is aiming to up its diplomatic offensive and win back lost ground – all while hardening its public stance toward its superpower rival, the United States. Qin Gang, Beijing’s new foreign minister, on Tuesday declared that “China’s diplomacy has pressed the ‘accelerator button,’” citing the country’s recovery from the pandemic and its resumption of international exchanges.

That outreach will be boosted by a 12.2% increase in the Chinese government’s budget for diplomatic expenditure this year. It’s a drastic jump from the zero-Covid era that saw China’s borders mostly shut: In 2020, China slashed its diplomacy budget by 11.8%, before a mild 2.4% increase in 2022.