China’s Diplomacy Takes a Southern Turn with Increased Budget

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China: rising budget and heading south for Chinese diplomacy

Chinese diplomacy is set to receive a boost in budget, with a five-fold increase expected this year. The confirmation of nominations from the 20th CPC Congress, held last fall, will also provide an opportunity to outline the main policy objectives, including foreign policy. With a focus on reviving the second economy in the world, which has been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese officials have launched a charm offensive aimed at Western investors. There is also a new focus on communication and a rebranding of China’s image in the world as “smart power”. Despite recent incidents, such as spy balloons, the US has expressed a desire to increase diplomatic missions to China. However, the main focus of China’s diplomatic efforts is on the countries of the Global South, with the first trip of the new foreign minister in January being reserved for Africa.

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