Ren Lin, a global governance scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, suggests Washington is selectively engaging the Global South in ways designed to intensify contradictions and antagonisms between its membership. This strategy, Ren assesses, ultimately aims to isolate China and reduce the effectiveness of BRICS and other groups that threaten U.S. agenda-setting in global governance.
Xiang Haoyu, a research fellow at a prominent Chinese think tank, presents a typology of China’s diplomatic partnerships – which range from “strategic” partnerships (the most common type, held with at least 80 countries) to “all-weather” or “permanent” partnerships, describing very close ties with countries such as Pakistan, Venezuela, and Belarus. Xiang contrasts Beijing’s pursuit of partnerships to the “zero-sum” alliance network of the West, and suggests partnerships are a powerful diplomatic tool for Beijing that can be flexibly adapted to the counterpart country’s conditions and needs.
Dai Changzheng, a national security scholar at the Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics, argues China’s external environment is becoming more challenging due to rising tensions with the United States and heightened risk of pandemics, economic crises, and regional conflicts. Yet, Dai suggests that Beijing now has significant power to shape its external environment, given its substantial economic growth in past decades. Dai recommends Beijing advance and preserve China’s interests in this new environment by deepening ties with developing and regional countries and actively participating in global governance institutions.
Zhang Gaoyuan, a security scholar at Peking University, draws lessons for China amid what she terms the digital transformation of intelligence gathering. Zhang argues dual-use technology such as drones and Starlink satellites, open-source social media information, and efforts by non-combatants have been pivotal in guaranteeing Ukraine a steady flow of battlefield intelligence. As a prognosis for China, she promotes greater research into the opportunities and risks digital technologies present for intelligence acquisition and security.
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.
This piece from the U.S. studies program at Ministry of State Security-linked think tank China Institutes for Contemporary International Relations argues that the Ukraine war heralds the end of the post-Cold War order. The article argues the United States has been the biggest beneficiary of the war so far, leveraging the crisis to strengthen its alliance network and fight a proxy war with Russia. The authors of the report warn countries in Asia to remain vigilant to what they describe as U.S. efforts to preserve and expand its hegemony in ways that might destabilize the region.
Wu Riqiang, a senior security expert from Renmin University, argues that Cold War arms control negotiations between the U.S. and Soviet Union showcase the importance of regular bilateral dialogue and transparency in military modernization to build confidence and avoid miscalculations between nuclear superpowers. As China’s security environment sours and tensions with the United States rise, Wu proposes that Beijing draw lessons from this historical example to develop an arms control approach that best safeguards national interests and security.
Ge Jun, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officer and researcher, argues that as U.S.-China tensions worsen, Beijing should pursue confidence-building measures (CBMs) with the United States to improve its security environment. Ge draws on CBMs conducted by the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War to suggest how the effectiveness of such efforts can be maximized, highlighting the importance of private communication channels, ensuring concessions are roughly equivalent, and first exploring other areas of cooperation to build up strategic trust.
Feng Yujun, a senior Russia expert at Fudan University, argues that while Russia’s relations with the West have deteriorated precipitously since its invasion of Ukraine, China-Russia ties have been characterized by regular diplomatic contact, increased trade, and alignment in international organizations. Feng argues that strong and stable ties with China are increasingly critical for Russia as its international status and influence decline.
Wang Shushen, an expert in U.S.-Taiwan relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, argues that shifts in the level and nature of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan that began under the Trump administration are forcing Beijing to deploy its own set of deterrence measures. These dynamics, Wang argues, will make it difficult to prevent and control a crisis in and around the Taiwan Strait in the future.