China, a ‘want-to-be’ superpower

Syllabus: GS II, Subject: International Relations, Topic: Global Issues, Issue: Increasing global presence of China

Context: First anniversary of China-brokered deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Steps taken by China to project itself as global mediator:

  • Establishing an international mediation organisation in Hong Kong.
  • Intends to connect this mediation initiative with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

China’s larger objective :

  • China seeks to be an alternative to Western interventionism, particularly in regions like West Asia with colonial legacies.
  • China aims to enhance its global influence as a responsible international actor.

Limit to China’s mediation diplomacy:

  • China has also been absent through the crisis in the Red Sea


  • Despite its economic strength, China provides few solutions for enduring geopolitical issues.
  • China functions more as a utilitarian power for hedging against, rather than a rising traditional superpower.
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