Chinese FM Yang Jiechi on foreign policy
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held a live questions and answers session
with journalists detailing China’s foreign policy. The session was done in both Chinese and English. I thought Minister Yang was very articulate and Chinese brand of international relations will be well received around the globe. I will highlight some points and also weigh in on the Reuters reporter’s questions.
On the question of Russia-China relations, Yang pronounced it a “strategic partnership.” I think that is very true. Russian leaders and Russian media narrate their relationship the same way.
On Africa and BRIC, Yang said that there are efforts underway to make BRIC a more formalized force in shaping development of the world; but not at the expense of the rest of the developing countries, Africa included. For example, he said BRIC will be inclusive. On responding to the journalist from South Africa, he said that the South African leader is invited and hoped to join the upcoming meeting of BRIC nations in China.
A lot has already been written in the Western media about the yesterday U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speech on Internet ‘freedom.’ In her speech, Clinton singled out China for being “repressive” on the Internet, and for that reason, the predictable narrative is out yet again: U.S. vs. ‘bad’ China, ‘bad’ China, or U.S. being too harsh to, still, a ‘bad’ China. This nonsense aside, I thought the speech was telling of a number of things.
First of all, don’t forget that the U.S. Department of State’s mission is to conduct U.S. foreign policies. In that sense, everything Clinton said were expected and predictable. The biggest give away is near the end of her speech where she said: