The COVID-19 pandemic intensified the classic narrative that China is competing for global influence and the Global South is a recipient of its influence. For instance, China’s Covid diplomacy is dominating vaccination campaigns in Latin America. This narrative also suggests that China is interfering in democratizing countries through its Belt and Road Initiative to grow its economic and political power on the global stage. The Chinese Communist Party’s strategy was described by Deng Xiaoping, a former leader of China, as to “unite our friends and isolate and attack our enemies”.
This is the dominant narrative about China’s aspirations for global leadership, but it is only one amongst many. It is important to note that other competing narratives purport that by engaging with the Global South, China is offering a different way of doing global governance. China’s integration with the rest of the world was originally described by the United States as a “responsible stakeholder” within the international community. The panelists will explore different narratives of China’s globalization:
- Does China govern the same way globally as it does at home?
- What organisations, businesses and institutions help shape China’s role on the global stage?
- Are the different narratives that exist for China’s global governance competing or complimentary?