China’s image is deteriorating in the world
China’s overall image, which had been good or at least neutral in many parts of the world over the past two decades, has deteriorated significantly over the past four years among countries including the United States, the Japan, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. . Several reports indicate that between the 1990s and the late 2010s, China enjoyed favorable relations with several countries but, at present, Beijing has its worst public image in decades in several parts of the world.
Despite increased foreign aid through the Belt and Road Initiative, spending billions on state television, radio and other mass media, and a variety of efforts to expand cultural diplomacy, visitor programs for foreigners, and scholarships for students to attend college in China. According to a Pew Research Center survey of the public in seventeen different countries, including the United States, “adverse views of China are…at or near historic highs. The vast majority of industrialized economies surveyed had largely unfavorable views on China”.
Several causes explain the deterioration of China’s global image. They include weak diplomacy, increased reliance on economic coercion, failed attempts at soft power, and expanded ties with Russia. Recently, China’s new diplomatic posture, as well as the increasing use of state economic pressure against foreign and domestic Chinese nations and enterprises, are undoubtedly contributing to the escalation of unfavorable attitudes.
Before the start of the Xi era in 2012-13, there were few hints of China’s growing belligerence, but openly confrontational diplomacy flourished under its leadership. At a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Hanoi in 2010, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi launched a tirade against Southeast Asian leaders, prefiguring Beijing’s new attitude.
As Xi consolidated his power at home, weeding out potential opponents and ending consensus authoritarianism for what is now essentially one-man rule, he demonstrated through speeches and actions that he wants China regains its position as a dominant regional and global power and promotes its model to the rest of the world, according to the media report. He openly expressed nationalist beliefs and, unlike other presidents since Mao, argued for a Chinese development model. With Xi in the lead, Chinese diplomacy shifted dramatically to the kinds of statements made by Yang in 2010, under Xi some of the more venomous diplomats quickly rose to the Foreign Ministry, demonstrating to other Chinese diplomats that acting in this way is a path to promotion.
Following Xi’s lead, other ministries and diplomats have begun to frequently utter heavy, nationalistic and pompous rhetoric against foreign powers, instilled in China’s increasingly nationalistic domestic politics. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, China’s most brazen diplomats have viciously assaulted neighboring countries and promoted misinformation regarding the origins of the coronavirus.
They have also promoted Russian disinformation regarding the war in Ukraine in recent months, while Chinese local media portrays Russia as the real victim. This is another step in the use of disinformation by Chinese diplomats, in which Beijing helps to magnify the lies of another large authoritarian country, with which it has developed a strong relationship. China’s involvement in spreading Russian disinformation online is crucial: many Russian publications are banned or blacklisted by governments and tech companies, but not those from China. Simultaneously, China has become more open about using economic pressure against nations that criticize its international and domestic policies. Beijing has used coercion against dozens of states and multinational corporations that have taken critical stances on issues that Beijing considers critical, such as Taiwan, the South China Sea, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, or have criticized Xi’s leadership or demanded investigations into the origins of COVID-19 or pushed China to abandon its disastrous zero-COVID policy. China’s trajectory is headed for one destination: death. (ANI)
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)