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Peace

Brief: “The love for peace is in the DNA of the Chinese people,” Xi Jinping, General Secretary of China’s Communist Party, has repeatedly asserted. This narrative, proclaiming that its subjects are harmonious, non-violent and benevolent by nature, rhymes well with the Party’s conviction that it is always morally correct. While the UN Charter does not […]

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Culture

Brief: UNESCO defines culture broadly as “the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group that encompasses, not only art and literature, but lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs.” For the Chinese Communist Party, however, culture is first and foremost deeply political, one of […]

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Cooperation

Brief: “Building a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation” is the core of Xi Jinping’s thoughts on diplomacy. “Win-win cooperation” (合作共赢) is presented as an alternative to the prevailing “old” (i.e. Western-dominated) type of international relations, which top Chinese diplomats see as dominated by a Cold War mentality and confrontational zero-sum game thinking. […]

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Civil Society

Brief: Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution grants Chinese citizens the right to freedom of assembly and association. The language is strikingly similar to Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which sets the precondition for the development of a civil society comprised of non-governmental organizations. The EU defines as civil society […]

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Introduction

Interpreting China in International Cooperation and Diplomacy China’s new position as a major global power is having a profound impact on international relations and global governance. China has long abandoned its previous foreign policy of “keeping a low profile and biding one’s time”, instead becoming an active international actor and norm entrepreneur. European public and […]

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Public Diplomacy

Brief: From its modern origins in the 1960s, the notion of “public diplomacy”, which broadly involves the cultivation by governments of public opinion in other countries and intercultural communications, was meant to distinguish government-led international public relations efforts from the distasteful notion of propaganda. More recently, the idea of a “new public diplomacy” has emerged […]

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Freedom of Speech

Brief: Article 35 of China’s Constitution states that “[c]itizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.” Formally speaking, this language seems to accord with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which states: “Everyone has the right […]

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Security

Brief: For China, national security and state security are synonyms (both are translated as 国家安全), meaning that the two English terms can be used interchangeably. State security refers to the consolidation of the Chinese Communist Party’s ruling position and to its protection from domestic and foreign threats. As such, threats to state security are perceived […]

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Sovereignty

Brief: The concept of state sovereignty can be defined as the exclusive right of states to govern within their own territory. In China, sovereignty should be understood as absolute and perpetual state power, where the state is governed by the Chinese Communist Party. Moreover, it is intimately linked to China’s emphasis on mutual non-interference in […]

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Multilateralism

Brief: In the UN context, “multilateralism” is commonly defined as coordinated diplomatic interaction by three or more states (or other actors) carried out within the framework of international organisations and in accordance with their rules. Often, “multilateralism” is used as a synonym for “multilateral system”, mainly referencing the system that evolved after World War II […]

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