Dec 23, 2021 08:21 PM

Year in Review: China’s Diplomacy in 2021 — Strategic Defense and Counteroffensive

In 2021, China’s diplomacy centered on building up its defensive line against a hawkish diplomatic encirclement by the West, mainly the United States, while maintaining a much toned-down but organized “wolf-warrior” rhetoric. Both powers have locked horns over a spate of thorny and risky issues, related but not limited to Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan and tracing the origins of Covid-19.

Beijing feels it has no choice but to embrace tit-for-tat retaliation to fend off the U.S.-coordinated attacks on its “core interests.” The ruling party is fully aware that making any concessions to the U.S. could be perceived as weakness and dangerous to its domestic legitimacy. This is especially so amid Washington’s engagement approach of managing bilateral relations from a “position of strength.”

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