NPC: Wang Yi dusts off Maoism to crack US anti-Beijing front

China turns to "post-colonial" countries to create its own global sphere of influence. The exploitation of Covid vaccine diplomacy. Attempt to weaken the Euro-Atlantic front. Myanmar coup lays bare the limits of Chinese foreign policy.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - China must "unite postcolonial nations". On the sidelines of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday dusted off an old Maoist slogan to outline his country’s foreign policy goals.

Experts observe they can be summarized in Beijing's attempt to break or weaken the anti-Chinese front that Joe Biden's US is steadily building.

In a meeting with selected media (excluding CNN, BBC and Reuters, for example), Wang said that China is opposed to the "exclusive circle" created by the United States. He hinted that Beijing will use Covid vaccine diplomacy to strengthen ties with developing countries in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. So far, China has sent its vaccines to 35 African and 12 Latin American states.

In an effort to highlight China's growing global influence, Wang pointed to an increase in trade with the Middle East and Latin America, and the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCP) with 14 economies in the Asia-Pacific region. He reiterated his government's commitment to the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi Jinping's major project to build new trade routes with the rest of the world. Due to the pandemic, Chinese investment in this area collapsed in 2020.

Beijing intends to build its own global sphere of influence while simultaneously reducing that of the United States. Yesterday Wang declared that his government is ready to sign, ratify and respect the ILO (International Labor Organization) conventions on the ban on forced labor. This is the precondition set by the European Union to ratify the bilateral investment agreement signed on December 30th.

During the years of the Trump presidency, China sought to undermine the Euro-Atlantic alliance and the signing of the EU agreement is a sign. Wang explained that Beijing does not want to sow discord between the EU and the US, but also said that his government is in favor of a "strategic autonomy" in Europe.

China criticizes EU and US support for protests in Hong Kong. Wang also termed Western charges of genocide in Xinjiang against Uyghurs and other Turkish-speaking minorities of Muslim faith “false". He maintains the accusations are just a gimmick to hinder progress in Chinese development, even if several humanitarian organizations and experts from the United Nations are launching them.

In a nod to the risk of "external interference", Wang also stated that China should work with Russia to fight possible, new "colour revolutions". However, many note that Beijing is encountering major problems in building its own sphere of influence, as seen on its own borders in the recent coup in Myanmar, where the military overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, with whom the Chinese leaders had established excellent relations. Experts point out, China has so far offered no solution to the Burmese crisis.