China likes to think of itself as a rising power and a future world leader. While it is the world’s largest manufacturer and market, many factors hold the country back from realizing its aspirations.
Irrespective of political ideologies and forms of government, certain intrinsic characteristics are necessary to earn and maintain credibility among global peers. On the world stage, diplomacy, respect for international laws and borders, human rights protection, transparency of governance, civil liberties, and sheer courtesy are not merely desirable but essential. On that score, China falls woefully short.
Beijing has been meticulously trying to earn the ‘benevolent’ or ‘generous' label. To spruce up its image, the country has opened its purse to the less developed nations. Some reports suggest that in 2019 alone, China gave over nearly $6 billion in foreign aid and grants. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has pledged over a billion doses of COVID vaccines to Africa alone. Besides this, China has shipped huge volumes of personal protection equipment and nearly 450 million doses of medicine worldwide.