Beijing briefing: China goes for growth in Global South

Due to worsening Sino-US relations and tightening EU markets, Beijing is hoping for a better reception in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, writes Yu Jie.

The World Today Published 28 July 2023 3 minute READ

The Chinese Communist Party National Congress in October 2022 offered an intriguing hint that Beijing’s management of its foreign affairs was undergoing a change of direction.

In his major speech, President Xi Jinping abandoned any mention of a ‘new type of great power relations’, a concept he had used repeatedly in his past two congressional updates when referring to his preferred approach to relations with the American-led West. The omission shows that Beijing has decided its fraught relationship with developed nations is here to stay, with little prospect of improvement.

Worsening Sino-US relations and the tightening of access to American and European markets for Chinese companies have prompted China’s leaders to reconfigure their approach to foreign affairs and look elsewhere for sources of economic growth. As a result, Beijing has speeded up its diplomatic charm offensive in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

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