Desperate Beijing seeks love wherever it can find it

    WORLD  18 June 2024 - 02:10

    Facing economic challenges and waning global enthusiasm, Beijing has launched a diplomatic "charm offensive" to win back foreign investment and trade support, but its efforts have yet to yield significant results, according to an article by Forbes.  Caliber.Az reprints the piece.

    Beijing must feel desperate. It can see that things economic are not going well, either domestically or with trade or with investment flows. It can also see how the once great global enthusiasm about China business has ebbed among Americans, Europeans, and Japanese. Washington has shown increasing hostility toward China trade as well as Brussels and Tokyo, though to a less extreme extent.

    In response, China’s leaders have in recent months set out to woo business and political leaders in every area of the developed world. President Xi Jinping has feted American business leaders twice and told them how much China values them. He has done the same in Europe. Most recently, he has sent Premier Li Qiang to Seoul, South Korea to deliver the same message and more to the leaders of that country and Japan. But if Beijing has suffered no outright rejection, it has felt little warmth.

    The reasons for Beijing’s efforts are clear enough. Domestically, a severe and persistent property crisis has crippled homebuying and construction activity. Because of the loss of wealth in the property crisis, and for other reasons as well, Chinese consumers remain reluctant to spend, while President Xi’s former hostility toward private business has stalled their investment and expansion as well as hiring. Exports have lagged because of the varying degrees of hostility toward China trade exhibited by governments in Washington, Brussels, and Tokyo and also because businesses in these regions are actively diversifying their foreign operations and sourcing away from China.

    This lack of domestic and foreign economic support has led to what can only be described as Beijing’s recent “charm offensive.” The object is to help boost the economy by winning back, at least in part, the former foreign enthusiasm about China, an entusiasm that once helped propel rapid Chinese development. President Xi met with American business leaders at the APAC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in San Francisco last November where he reassured them that they were welcome in China and that they would find a fertile business environment there.

    Earlier this year, he invited even more American business leaders to Beijing to hear the same message. Shortly after that show, Xi travelled to Europe to tell the Europeans the same thing. Both the Americans and the Europeans gave him a positive reception, polite and friendly, but neither effort elicited much of a substantive response. Neither investment flows nor trade have picked up much.

    Most recently, Beijing made much the same pitch to South Korea and Japan. Premier Li Qiang met in Seoul with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. At the meetings he promoted trade among the three economies and invited investment into China. It was the first such get together since 2019.

    In many ways, Li made the same promises to the South Koreans and the Japanese that Xi did to the Americans and the Europeans, but he went a step further. He tried to revive the idea of a three-way free trade agreement first mooted in 2012 but largely stalled since. By emphasizing the common Asian heritage of the three nations, Li also seemed to be trying to split either or both countries from their close economic and diplomatic relations with the United States.

    Everyone was very polite in Seoul, as were the Americans and Europeans, but it is not apparent that Li got anywhere. There was of course the usual rhetoric about cooperation on trade and clean energy, but nothing concrete came out of the meetings, not even a plan, much less a commitment. Though Li insisted on separating economics, investing, and trade from security and diplomacy, security issues nonetheless soured the meetings.

    Both Yoon Suk Yeol and Fumio Kishida asked for Chinese help restraining North Korea’s missile testing and otherwise hostile acts. Li never addressed these concerns, except at one point he warned South Korea about “politicizing trade” (as if Beijing would never do such a thing).

    Kishida expressed concerns over China’s recent military drills around Taiwan and reminded Li how “extremely important” to Japan and the international community were any activities across the Taiwan Strait. He may have reminded Li that Japan has committed itself to Taiwan’s defense even more directly than has the United States. It became painfully apparent that the kinds of advances Li sought on trade and investing, much less a three-way free-trade agreement could not proceed without some resolution of security issues.

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Trump backers turn assassination attempt into fundraising bonanza

14 July 2024 - 18:03

Beijing & Moscow launch joint military drills amid NATO Summit

14 July 2024 - 17:49

Rawlemon spheres promise enhanced efficiency Solar revolution

14 July 2024 - 22:03

F-16 deployment triggers S-400 confrontation concerns

14 July 2024 - 20:03

Unprecedented attack: Gunman targets Trump at Pennsylvania rally

14 July 2024 - 16:32

Attempted assassination of Trump sparks political firestorm

14 July 2024 - 17:35
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    Rawlemon spheres promise enhanced efficiency

    Solar revolution

    14 July 2024 - 22:03

    F-16 deployment triggers S-400 confrontation concerns

    14 July 2024 - 20:03

    Türkiye condemns violence against US presidential candidate

    14 July 2024 - 18:13

    Trump backers turn assassination attempt into fundraising bonanza

    14 July 2024 - 18:03

    Beijing & Moscow launch joint military drills amid NATO Summit

    14 July 2024 - 17:49

    Baku Shipyard: A hub of innovation & industrial growth

    VIDEO

    14 July 2024 - 17:46

    Attempted assassination of Trump sparks political firestorm

    14 July 2024 - 17:35

    Georgian PM blames “Global War Party” for Trump assassination attempt

    14 July 2024 - 17:17

    Kremlin reacts to US ex-president’s assassination attempt

    14 July 2024 - 17:03

    Azerbaijani Defense Ministry releases weekly review

    14 July 2024 - 16:48

    Unprecedented attack: Gunman targets Trump at Pennsylvania rally

    14 July 2024 - 16:32

    Global reactions to Iran's president-elect's foreign policy stance

    14 July 2024 - 15:51

    Hezbollah deploys new Shahed drones against Israel

    14 July 2024 - 15:35

    Azerbaijan thwarts large drug trafficking operation

    14 July 2024 - 15:20

    Failed intelligence sparks outrage after Trump attack

    Changing role of US on world stage

    14 July 2024 - 15:04

    Xi Jinping expresses compassion for Trump after assassination attempt

    14 July 2024 - 14:47

    Kremlin: Deep confrontation between West & Russia shows no signs of easing

    14 July 2024 - 14:32

    Marine Le Pen condemns Trump assassination attempt

    Decries rising western violence

    14 July 2024 - 14:17

    Western nations maintain ban on Ukrainian strikes into Russian territory

    14 July 2024 - 14:11

    Macron condemns attempted assassination on Trump

    Wishes him speedy recovery

    14 July 2024 - 13:55

    Germany unprepared for Trump victory, says Jens Spahn

    14 July 2024 - 13:39

    Erdogan condemns Trump assassination attempt

    Calling for swift justice

    14 July 2024 - 13:24

    Polite Azerbaijan, vague Ukraine and confused France

    Weekly review with Azerbaijani political analyst

    14 July 2024 - 13:09

    Hungarian premier backs Trump after assassination attempt

    14 July 2024 - 12:53

    Chinese exports to Russia rise in June

    14 July 2024 - 12:37

    FBI identifies shooter in assassination attempt on Trump

    14 July 2024 - 12:23

    Azerbaijan commemorates fourth anniversary of Gen Hashimov's death

    Symbol of bravery, patriotism in Azerbaijan

    14 July 2024 - 12:08

    Trump makes first public appearance in New Jersey since Pennsylvania rally shooting

    14 July 2024 - 11:53

    EU, NATO criticise Hungarian PM's unilateral diplomacy on Ukraine peace deal

    14 July 2024 - 11:37

    Armenian PM, US official discuss peace process with Azerbaijan

    14 July 2024 - 11:21

    Hungarian premier dissuades Ukraine from joining NATO

    14 July 2024 - 11:06

    Azerbaijani president condemns assassination attempt on Trump

    Wishes him a speedy recovery

    14 July 2024 - 10:55

    Belarus highlights Russia’s willingness to negotiate

    14 July 2024 - 10:52

    US leaders condemn political violence and express relief over Trump's safety

    14 July 2024 - 10:36

    Hamas ceases communication with Gaza reps

    14 July 2024 - 10:36

    Organization of Turkic States credited for granting observer status to TRNC

    14 July 2024 - 10:21

    Turkish leader cautious on prospects for swift resolution to Ukrainian conflict

    14 July 2024 - 10:05

    Consulate efforts yield passports for Azerbaijani citizens illegally living in Türkiye

    14 July 2024 - 09:50

    Bullet pierces Trump's ear at Pennsylvania rally, prompting quick response

    14 July 2024 - 09:31

    Azerbaijan's strategic shift: Balancing power in a new world order

    Will Azerbaijan align with the East or the West?

    14 July 2024 - 09:20

All news