China needs to reassure foreign investors and revive its economy, while a US with its hands full in Ukraine and Gaza needs to establish guardrails with China.
Although China’s leaders have attached great importance to the role of culture in national rejuvenation, the country lags far behind the US in cultural influence. A new crop of TV series, and to a lesser extent film productions, ranging from historical dramas to sci-fi, might help change that.
Asian countries are committing to stronger economic ties with Beijing even as they back US efforts to counter China’s regional dominance. These contradictory moves reflect the dual-track nature of the US-China rivalry, with each track offering different benefits to regional players.
Since Xi Jinping exhorted officials to present a ‘lovable’ image of the country, Chinese diplomats have been toning down their strident rhetoric. On core issues, such as Taiwan and the South China Sea, however, Beijing is likely to act as assertively as ever.
While China remains committed to the Sino-Russian partnership, recent diplomatic efforts show it is also concerned about protecting its global image. Beijing’s calls to respect sovereignty and opposition to the use of nuclear weapons suggest a quiet disapproval of Moscow’s military actions.