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China Using Diplomacy to Raise Global Status

Posted October. 13, 2009 08:50,   


“Diplomatic power represents the overall power of a nation and strengthening diplomatic power becomes power among nations.” - Hans Joachim Morgenthau, late U.S. theorist on international relations.

China has strengthened its diplomatic activities and accounts for an increasingly larger share of global diplomacy. Beijing has spoken louder and the world is treating the Middle Kingdom differently. Through the hosting of last year’s Summer Olympics and heightened status in the wake of the global financial crisis, China’s diplomatic power has grown.

○ Stronger status via diplomacy

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is visiting China through tomorrow for a summit with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. The China News Service said Putin will sign several agreements worth 5.5 billion U.S. dollars in 34 sectors in Beijing.

The sectors are energy, transportation, communications, social overhead capital, immigration, military sector, and trips to Russia via high-speed train.

In Beijing, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will hold its summit tomorrow led by China and Russia. Member nations include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and several observer nations will take part.

Wen recently visited North Korea for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and encouraged Pyongyang’s return to the six-party talks. China believes it has taken the initiative in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear program, which is considered a major global security issue.

After Wen’s visit to Pyongyang, China held a tripartite summit with South Korea and Japan on a trilateral free trade agreement.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping since last week has visited five European nations including Belgium, Germany, Bulgaria and Romania. His visit is part of China’s efforts to strengthen its diplomatic ties with Europe at a time when the continent’s integration has accelerated.

Beijing’s diplomacy will peak in mid-November when U.S. President Barack Obama plans to visit China. While the U.S. is struggling to get out of the quagmire of the Afghanistan war, China has raised its global status through diplomacy.

○ U.S. trying not to bother China

Obama declined to meet the Dalai Lama, who visited the U.S. last Monday, breaking a precedent of a U.S. president meeting the Tibetan spiritual leader over the past 18 years in spite of Chinese opposition. Obama apparently wanted to avoid worsening relations with China before his visit.

At a meeting of central bank governors ahead of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Istanbul, Turkey, early this month, People’s Bank of China Vice Gov. Yi Gang said, “Since the IMF gives its member nations equity and voting rights disproportional to the economic power of member nations, it has failed to reasonably supervise international finance.”