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China acting as a global power (WSJ)

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China Is Starting to Act Like a Global Power

Beijing grows bolder in challenging the U.S.-led global order

BEIJING—China now sees itself as a global power—and it is starting to act like one.

Long reluctant to inject itself into conflicts far from its shores, Beijing is showing a new assertiveness as Xi Jinping begins his third term as the country’s head of state, positioning China to draw like-minded countries to its side and to have a greater say on global matters.

China is emerging from three years of “zero-Covid” isolation to a far more unfriendly West, and signaling that it feels it has the military and economic heft to start shaping the world more to its interests.

Earlier this month, Beijing surprised the world by brokering a detente between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a bold foray into the Middle East’s turbulent rivalries.

Now, Mr. Xi says he wants to insert himself into efforts to end the Russia-Ukraine war, as he returns home from several days of warm meetings in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and plans his first conversation since the beginning of the war with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The moves might not result in lasting diplomatic breakthroughs, and China’s perceived inclination toward Russia on the Ukraine war, highlighted again this week in Moscow, has undercut Mr. Xi’s credibility as a neutral arbiter among Kyiv’s backers. Early Wednesday, as Mr. Xi was preparing to depart Moscow, Russia launched a new wave of missiles and armed drones into Ukraine, killing four people in a school dormitory in the Kyiv region.

But China’s willingness to wade into these conflicts in such a strident way marks a new phase in the country’s vision for itself and its role in the world. It sends a message that China and its friends are no longer obliged to conform to a U.S.-led global order, and that Beijing poses a challenge to Washington as it tries to shape a world it sees as divided between democracies and autocracies.



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