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Softer China diplomacy as Xi Jinping handles domestic issues

Softer China diplomacy as Xi Jinping handles domestic issues

Softer China diplomacy as Xi Jinping handles domestic issues

Softer China diplomacy as Xi handles domestic issues

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  • Softer China diplomacy as Xi Jinping handles domestic issues.
  • China has adopted a more conciliatory approach in its global dealings.
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  • China recently released Australian news anchor Cheng Lei.

China has recently adopted a more conciliatory approach in its global dealings, which includes releasing an Australian journalist from prison, extending an invitation to the U.S. military for a defense forum, and agreeing to a $4.2 billion debt restructuring deal with Sri Lanka.

These shifts in tone are occurring as President Xi Jinping grapples with significant domestic economic challenges, signaling that China seeks to reassure the world about its commitment to international commerce.

However, it may not represent a lasting change, and old tensions are likely to resurface in the future, according to analysts while this shift may be welcomed by the United States.

China’s current objective is to convey that it aims to maintain stable economic and diplomatic relations with the U.S. and its allies in Asia and Europe, preventing an escalatory spiral.

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China recently released Australian news anchor Cheng Lei after holding her for three years on national security grounds, indicating an improvement in its relationship with Australia.

The U.S. has also been invited to a defense forum in Beijing, signaling a thaw in military exchanges, and Xi has expressed positive sentiments toward a U.S. delegation led by Senator Chuck Schumer.

It has also agreed to restructure over $4 billion of debt with Sri Lanka and signed a memorandum of understanding to restructure Zambian debt as China hosts a forum marking the 10th anniversary of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

This demonstrates China’s willingness to work with developing countries on economic issues, particularly as it seeks to counter the perception that the BRI results in “debt trap diplomacy.”

China has not altered its stance on every issue, and tensions persist in various areas, including territorial disputes in the South China Sea despite these diplomatic overtures.

China’s motivations for these diplomatic shifts include the need to retain multinational corporations within its borders, counter the risk of disconnection from the global supply chain, and deepen political and trade connections with developing nations.

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However, political developments, such as the disappearance of China’s foreign minister and defense chief, have complicated Xi’s efforts to concentrate on foreign policy and security initiatives.

Nonetheless, the fundamental tensions in the U.S.-China relationship persist, and analysts anticipate that this temporary improvement in engagement is likely to be followed by another downturn in the future, especially as the U.S. election approaches and core issues such as trade and national security remain contentious.

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