Saturday, December 27, 2014

China's Foreign Policy in 2014: A Year of 'Big Strokes'

A look at China’s foreign policy moves in 2014, and what’s in store for 2015.

By Xie Tao

The Diplomat - December 27, 2014

The Chinese have a phrase to describe plans or actions that are eye-catching or have far-reaching impact. It is “da shou bi,” which may be translated into English as “big strokes.” The past year was undoubtedly a year of “big strokes” for Chinese foreign policy.
In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited 18 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania. He also hosted the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai and the APEC summit in Beijing. The former was attended by 11 heads of state, two heads of government, and ten leaders of international organizations, and the latter by 20 heads of state or government. Whether a home game or a road game, China’s top leader apparently managed to make it a big stroke game.
Frequent travels abroad and high-profile summits at home certainly add to China’s international influence, but the real big strokes lie in monetary terms. The Chinese government pledged $10 billion and $41 billion for the BRICS Development Bank and the BRICS Emergency Fund respectively. It also founded the 21-member Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and made an initial contribution of $50 billion. Last but not least, China contributed $40 billion to establish the Silk Road Fund. As many governments around the world are struggling with severe fiscal shortfalls, the Chinese government’s largesse is all the more eye-catching.

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