A prominent scholar of China-Africa relations argues that other major powers with a presence in Africa are increasingly wary of China’s activity on the continent. Since continued economic and political engagement in Africa is in China’s interests, Zhang argues, Beijing should maximize its room for maneuver by allaying such concerns. While Beijing should tailor strategies by country, Zhang advocates showing “due consideration” for other countries’ goals in Africa where they do not impinge on China’s core interests, pursuing opportunities for cooperation where they present themselves, and limiting unnecessarily provocative activities.
A scholar from the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies argues that China’s economic engagement in Africa has become more complicated given a mix of external and internal factors – including souring relations between China and Western powers, and the shifting demands and expectations of African countries. As a prognosis, the author suggests that Beijing should enhance the complementarity and tangible impact of its global initiatives, devote greater attention to green development and other emerging development needs in Africa, and develop consultation mechanisms with African countries to address “pain points” as they arise.
This 2020 article by Li Hui, China’s Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs and the former ambassador to Russia, argues for closer Sino-Russian relations under the banner of a “comprehensive strategic partnership.” Li suggests that in the years ahead, the two countries will continue to deepen economic integration, coordinate diplomatic outreach to developing countries, and jointly promote governance reform in multilateral institutions.
Gao Xiang, President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, details the motivations and intent behind China’s Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) proposed by Xi Jinping in March 2023. The Chinese development experience, Gao suggests, shows that viable paths to modernization extend beyond what he describes as the Western capitalist model. For Gao, the GCI will democratize international relations in the face of perceived “power politics and hegemonism” of other major powers by institutionalizing people-to-people and cultural exchanges, thereby engendering greater respect for the diversity of national histories, cultures, and conditions.
Wang Wen, a distinguished scholar from Renmin University argues that while internal and particularly external risks to China’s development have undoubtedly grown, the “period of strategic opportunity” heralded formally by Jiang Zemin in 2002 endures. In Wang’s view, Chinese leadership must internalize this belief and proactively communicate it publicly, as “targeted encouragement for the future” that in turn maintains “medium-to-high growth in all fields of society.”
Emphasis added throughout text by editors.
The vice president of CICIR, a Ministry of State Security-affiliated IR think tank, argues that Beijing’s introduction of the Global Security Initiative (GSI) is timely amid “turmoil” in the international system. He identifies three strategies China should follow as it promotes the principles of the GSI, which Xi Jinping laid out at the 2022 Bo’ao Forum for Asia in April.
When Xi Jinping announced the Global Development Initiative (GDI) in late 2021, important questions were raised about the future of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). Here, two scholars from Renmin University argue that the GDI is an addition to, not a replacement of, the BRI. They tout the GDI and BRI as the “main drivers of global South-South cooperation” and useful tools to address the North-South gap and promote the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
A researcher from the School of Marxism at Southwest Jiaotong University argues that China demonstrates a willingness to invest in global development cooperation, whereas the West demonstrates what he terms an attitude of “unilateralism, protectionism and egoism.”
This excerpt from a report issued by the State Council’s Development Research Center outlines the main principles and goals of the Global Development Initiative, arguing that it “tackles pressing development challenges such as poverty reduction, food security, pandemic control and vaccines, and creates the preconditions for a smooth post-pandemic recovery.”
This article from the deputy director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences links the Global Security Initiative (GSI) directly to Xi Jinping’s Overall National Security Outlook. The Outlook emphasizes that China’s national security is in part contingent on global security, and thus, Feng argues, strengthening the security architecture in accordance with the GSI is one of Beijing’s core interests.