onsdag 8. mars 2023

In Xi’s ‘New Era,’ China’s Foreign Policy Centers on ‘Struggle’

China’s new foreign minister, Qin Gang, had his first annual press conference on Tuesday on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress. His first lengthy interaction with the press (albeit under the carefully controlled conditions of Chinese official press briefings) served as a useful corrective to the previous theory that Qin would somehow use a lighter touch as China’s foreign minister.

Qin was even asked directly about perceptions that his appointment meant China would be “taking a softer approach with its diplomacy.” In response he quoted a Confucian saying: “One should repay kindness with kindness, and resentment with justice.”

“In China’s diplomacy, there is no shortage of goodwill and kindness. But if faced with jackals or wolves, Chinese diplomats would have no choice but to confront them head-on and protect our motherland,” Qin declared. That wasn’t far from the even coarser formulation once offered by China’s ambassador to Sweden: “We treat our friends with fine wine, but for our enemies we’ve got shotguns.”