China looks to developing world as US stages global comeback

China looks to developing world as US stages global comeback

South China Morning Post - China·2021-03-08 12:02

China’s foreign minister puts the focus on Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia in his annual press conference

Beijing might find it more difficult to hold sway as Biden tries to revive international alliances

As

US President Joe Biden

seeks to return his country to the global centre stage, China’s top diplomat has signalled Beijing’s desire to counter Washington by establishing its own sphere of influence, observers said.

State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent the signals on Sunday at a briefing for selected media on the sidelines of China’s

annual parliamentary sessions

, an event that Beijing uses to promote its diplomatic agenda.

During the 90-minute event, Wang spent much of the time answering questions related to developing countries and regions, ranging from supplying Chinese vaccines to Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, to infrastructure investment in Central Asia.

It was a contrast with years past when the foreign minister fielded questions from Western media outlets such as CNN, the BBC and Reuters.

“The Chinese side resolutely believes that diversity is a distinct feature in human civilisation. Differences in political systems should not be a reason for confrontation, but a chance for dialogue and exchange,” he said.

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