Abstract. In the context of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Chinese leadership had to make major adjustments to its foreign policy. Central to it were attempts to remove the blame from China for the spread of the pandemic worldwide. Beijing’s practical policy in the international arena was significantly influenced by unprecedented pressure from the Trump administration, which declared its rejection of the CPC and its domestic and foreign policy and threatened a complete break between the United States and China. Beijing’s relations with Europe have become more complicated, and those with India have noticeably deteriorated. In the current situation, Beijing has confirmed a policy of close cooperation with the Russian Federation. This article examines features of China’s interaction with leading international organizations in 2020.
The author concludes that 2020 was a year of serious tests for the foreign policy of the Chinese leadership led by Xi Jinping. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a certain narrowing of the field of practical foreign policy in Beijing and significantly limited the international contacts of the PRC leadership.
The year 2020 was a very unusual one for China’s foreign policy.
It began very much as usual. On January 17-18, Chinese President Xi Jinping made an official visit to Myanmar, which helped remove numerous asperities in Beijing’s relations with this difficult but important partner in Southeast Asia. Suffice it to mention that an oil pipeline is being laid across Myanmar to Yunnan province that makes it possible to avoid transit across the vulnerable Strait of Malacca when delivering oil from the Middle East to China. Cautious optimism was inspired by the agreement of the first phase of a trade deal between the PRC and the US. concluded on January 15. The way seemed to have been opened to the gradual normalization of strained bilateral trade and economic relations. A long-awaited visit of the Chinese leader to Japan was planned for spring 2020. The year was also supposed to feature such important international political events as meetings of Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin as part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Soviet people’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, meetings of the SCO and BRICS Heads of States at forums of these organizations in Russia, and a possible Sino-Russian summit in Beijing on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Those plans were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first months of the year, the virus emerged in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, and spread worldwide. Besides fighting the pandemic itself, China had to counter charges of “lack of transparency” that facilitated the worldwide spread of the coronavirus. Difficulties associated with decreased production volume and demand both in China and in its leading trading partners also arose in the context of the epidemic.
One of the first attempts to summarize the range of challenges to Beijing’s foreign policy in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic was made by Paul Haenly (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). In his article “What the Coronavirus Means for China’s Foreign Policy,” posted on the Endowment website on March 11, he emphasized the following problems in particular: How will the pandemic impact the execution of the first phase of the trade deal between the PRC and the US? What will COVID-19 mean for the realization of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative? Is there a possibility for China-US cooperation in fighting the pandemic? How can China’s response to the coronavirus change its position in the international community?1
Extraordinary efforts were made in Beijing to repudiate charges against it of “original sin” as the source of the pandemic and to shift the focus from clarifying the circumstances of the breakout to establishing international cooperation in fighting it. For example, in May, at a press conference during the work of the 3rd session of the 13th National People’s Congress, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi informed journalists that Xi Jinping and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, in their conversations with foreign partners, repeatedly presented China’s position on the pandemic, always proposing unity in fighting the pandemic and offering assistance. Wang Yi had more than a hundred telephone negotiations on this problem, including with counterparts from the ASEAN, SCO, and BRICS states, as well as from the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the Mekong countries. China exported (data of May 23, 2020) 56.8 billion masks and 250 million sets of protective clothing, including more than 12 billion masks to the US. Massive urgent assistance was provided: 26 medical teams were sent to 24 countries, and in 45 African countries, training courses for fighting the pandemic were organized.2
On June 7, the press office of the PRC State Council released the White paper “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action,” which described the stages of the spread of the pandemic in the country, organizational and medical countermeasures, and social rehabilitation practices. The part on international cooperation mentioned the extension of urgent loans to China to fight the pandemic by the BRICS New Development Bank (7 million yuan) and by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (2.485 million yuan).3
The White paper and many other materials attempted to use the situation to propagate the Chinese concept of “community of common destiny for China and mankind.” In particular, the idea of the “common promotion of measures to guarantee hygiene and health for mankind as the community of common destiny” was played up. But Beijing’s efforts did not receive much positive response. The Chinese leadership had to partly correct old forms and methods and look for new ones to realize their foreign policy.
One of the dominant trends of 2020 was the steady deterioration in relations between the US and the PRC.
Chinese political scientists tried not to connect this deterioration to the COVID-19 pandemic, showing that the process was gradual and had accelerated during Donald Trump’s presidency. Wang Jisi, a leading Chinese Americanist, now working at Peking University, published the results of a PRC-US relationship study. A survey conducted from June 6 to July 6, 2019, yielded 2,400 responses from ordinary citizens and 200 responses from specialists both in China and the US. The main conclusion of the observation was that Sino-US relations notably deteriorated in 2019 in comparison to a similar survey in 2015. In particular, in Washington, the number of specialists who sympathized with China fell from 16% to 9%, while the share of those with a negative attitude toward the PRC increased from 61% to 76%. In the PRC, only 21% of citizens and 32% of specialists sympathized with the US; 56% of Chinese considered relations with the US to be bad, and 14% viewed them positively. Among specialists, those indicators were 72% and 3%, respectively. In the US, 15% of citizens and 2% of specialists assessed relations with China positively. While a significant share of those interviewed spoke in favor of maintaining bilateral cooperation, there were more enthusiasts in China than in the US. Wang Jisi did not rule out the “prolongation of the difficult situation in Sino-American relations irrespective of the presidential elections results.”4
Some interviewed Chinese citizens blamed the deterioration of relations not only on Washington, but also on Beijing. That theme was developed by Yuan Nansheng, former Consul General of the PRC in San Francisco. His opinion was that China’s foreign policy is susceptible to the influence of sinocentrism, triumphalism (“we must be better than everyone else”), and the theory of the mandatory “punishment of enemies.” The populism inherent in China and the extreme nationalism closely related to it can be regarded in the world as a policy of “China above all.” Noting the decline in the level of Sino-US cooperation in various spheres and the general decline in the level of mutual strategic trust, Yuan Nansheng urged “not to challenge the most powerful country” but to follow Deng Xiaoping’s basic precept of “not flaunting one’s strengths.” The resurrection of Deng Xiaoping’s precepts, which seemed to have been consigned to the archives long ago, may be considered an indirect criticism of Xi Jinping’s recent overly assertive foreign policy that has brought China not only dividends but also some complications.5
Up to about the middle of the year, China’s leaders at the official level in effect ignored the US’s increasing attacks on Beijing’s policy. They did all they could to show their willingness to maintain normal relations with Washington, if not improve them. For example, relevant proposals formulated in July by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in his remarks at the China-US Think Tanks Media Forum became widely known. Stating that “as long as the US is ready, China can restore dialogue mechanisms at all levels and in all areas,” Wang Yi called for “opening all the channels for dialogue” and jointly agreeing on “lists of cooperation areas, dialogues, and issues that need proper management,” the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic being the priority of cooperation. At the same time, Wang Yi emphasized that “China never intends to challenge or replace the US, or have full confrontation with the US.”6 “The olive branch” offered to Washington by Beijing was entirely ignored by the former. The anti-Chinese campaign was led by President Donald Trump himself. He called COVID-19 the “Wuhan” virus, or rather, the “Chinese” one, and threatened to make China, as the source of the pandemic, “pay the price.” Attacks against the PRC switched the topic from unfair trade and industrial espionage by Chinese companies to sensitive political issues (Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet) and the Communist Party of China. The PRC Consulate in Houston was closed. Chinese students and researchers staying in the US came under severe pressure. The question of the possible decoupling of relations between Washington and Beijing was put on the agenda. Accordingly, the entire history of bilateral relations after January 1, 1979, (the date of officially established diplomatic relations) began to be treated by the Trump administration as unilaterally advantageous to China.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, as it were, was the large-scale attack of the PRC by Michael Pompeo, US Secretary of State, in his speech “Communist China and the Free World’s Future” at the Richard Nixon Library in California on July 23. Having blamed China and particularly the Communist Party of China of all the “deadly sins,” the Secretary of State ended his speech with these words: “Securing our freedoms from the Chinese Communist Party is the mission of our time, and America is perfectly positioned to lead it….”7
Michael Pompeo’s speech was perceived in China as a US attempt to launch a full-scale “cold war” against China and was condemned by Chinese leaders, in particular, by Wang Yi, in his telephone talks with Jean-Yves Le Drian, head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France, on July 28.8
A detailed response to the attacks by the US Secretary of State was given on August 25 in Xinhua News Agency’s “Pompeo’s defamatory speech on China and the real facts.” Data from public opinion surveys disproved the statement that the Chinese people distrust the Communist Party and the government as a whole, and showed a low death rate from COVID-19 in China; on August 24, it was 160 times less than in the US, where there were 540 deaths per million people.
Pompeo’s statement that the US is a “beacon of freedom” for the people of the world, including the Chinese people, was called “patently false.” Since 2016, America’s standing in the world has dramatically declined. In the US, only 20% of the population is satisfied with the development of the country. The charges that China is seeking global hegemony were repudiated, and it was shown that it was not Beijing, but Washington, that has violated or ignored international treaties. Pompeo’s attempts to discredit the policy initiated by Richard Nixon of normalizing Sino-US relations were shown to be unfounded. The claim of a unilateral advantage for China from bilateral trade and economic relations was disproved. It was established that the trade war with China unleashed by the Trump administration cost every American family $600 and led to the loss of 300,000 jobs.
Also, light was shed on China’s position on the situation in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, and freedom of navigation in waters adjacent to the PRC.9
Pompeo’s de facto declared pivot away from “involving” China in the international system and toward the strategies of “containment” and even “rejection” that were employed in the mid-20th century began to be realized immediately with respect to the Taiwan issue. For the first time in 40 years, American cabinet-level officials visited Taiwan and the sale of American missiles to the island was approved. Those actions deliberately crossed the “red line” in spite of Beijing’s warnings. It can be said that China was forced to abandon endless exhortations and take harsh, practical measures. Such were the sanctions against some US companies and individuals that Beijing introduced in late October.10
Nevertheless, ahead of the US presidential election, the Chinese leadership once again demonstrated its unwillingness “to burn bridges,” to go “toe to toe” with America. On October 30, at the press conference following the fifth plenary session of the 19th CC CPC, it was declared that “few people want the sides to decouple, while far more opt to pursue sincere cooperation.” Such a decoupling “is utterly unrealistic, will do neither side any good, and in turn will also harm the world.”11
So, what, in fact, will happen next? Many predictions were made immediately before and after the US presidential election. Time will tell just how accurate those predictions are. Let us take one of those predictions, which deserves special attention in our view. Yan Xue-tong, a well-known specialist in international relations (Tsinghua University), believes that the establishment of the bipolar world – the US and China as its poles – will be influenced by the “cold war” mentality and the digital economy. The intensive Sino-US rivalry will last no less than two decades. The future world order will be “the order of an uneasy peace.” Neither the US nor China will be able to claim leadership in the digital world either jointly or individually. However, China and the US will increase “the digital divide” with other states. Digital hedging will replace geopolitical hedging; other countries will choose between China and the US on the basis of technological preferences.12
In 2020, China’s relations with Europe deteriorated a bit. Along with obvious causes (the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented US pressure on its European partners regarding relations with the PRC), a specific role was played by the change of leadership in the EU. In his article published in Nezavisimaya gazeta, Josep Borrel, responsible for EU foreign policy in “the new team,” emphasized that “the EU position regarding China became more realistic and decisive.” While recently trade and economic connections had dominated in Sino-European relations, thus fostering a generally favorable attitude to Beijing, now the approach has become more multidimensional: Europe considers China to be not just a partner, but also an economic rival “striving for technological leadership” and a principal opponent “promoting alternative models of governance.”13
Different ideas on “the universality of human rights” have exercised a stronger influence than before. The development of China’s relations with East European countries has slowed. Some officials from these countries, including the mayor of Prague, have even visited Taiwan.
Chinese experts, acknowledging that perceptions of China in Europe have worsened, see a significant difference between Sino-European and Sino-US relations. For example, Huang Ji (China Institute of Contemporary International Relations) attributes the reason for the differences to the fact that Europe “is not a hegemonic force.” That is why, unlike the US, Europe does not consider China a threat to its security and does not exclude cooperation with it in establishing a new world order.14
To all appearances, relations with Europe are similarly regarded by the Chinese leadership, which always maintains favorable contacts with European leaders and shows willingness to meet a partner’s interests. For example, in early September, during his visit to five European countries, Wang Yi proposed “cooperation in economic recovery after the pandemic, intensification of interaction in the digital and green economies, and joint actions on climate change and in global governance.”15
On September 14, at an online summit with European leaders, Xi Jinping proposed to adhere to the principles of peaceful coexistence, openness and collaboration, multilateralism, dialogue and consultations. This is the way to ensure steady and sound development of the PRC and the EU comprehensive strategic partnership.16
A kind of logical incompleteness was present in Sino-European relations in 2020. Although Europe did not yield entirely to American pressure to curtail its relations with China, it did make some concessions to Washington on this issue. As a result, it lost its position as China’s leading trade partner, ceding it to ASEAN. The Chinese leadership likely showed exceptional patience, not least in favor of the conclusion (after years of negotiations) of a bilateral investment agreement. In the final days of December, such an agreement was officially approved following a mutual compromise on China’s use of supposedly compulsory labor in the manufacture of goods for export. The conclusion of the Chinese-EU investment agreement and the British-EU trade agreement following Brexit could have a definite modifying effect on Sino-European bilateral relations in the coming years.
In 2020, China-India relations significantly deteriorated. India became more amenable to the idea of formalizing relations in the US-Japan-Australia-India format, increasingly actively promoted by the members of this geopolitical “quadrangle.” Joint naval exercises of these countries became more frequent and carried obviously anti-China overtones.
Clashes between Chinese and Indian border guards in the Galwan River valley in Ladakh that resulted in victims on the both sides struck a major blow to relations between the two countries. As usual, China and India blamed each other for the incidents and began to mass forces near the border. A direct meeting of the foreign ministers of the two powers initiated and realized with the help of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on the sidelines of the summit of Foreign Ministers of the SCO member states helped avoid the worse and to slightly relieve the situation.
India, which continually expresses discontent with trade and economic ties with China, supposedly only favorable for Beijing, rejected a number of contracts for Chinese imports of various techniques and technologies. Despite an official declaration by the leaders of the two states of the existence of a “development partnership” between them, a negative attitude toward the PRC and its policy on the international scene prevails among Indian experts.17 Some specialists of the two countries believe that a significant cause for the situation is Beijing’s and Delhi’s limited knowledge of each other. R. Chaturvedi and Miao Ji mention that the “infrastructure of Indian research in China and Chinese research in India … is generally fragmentary and uncoordinated. Mutual understanding requires significant strategic investments to improve research infrastructure. In collaboration, China and India can contribute to the improvement of our world.”18
The year 2020 was a very difficult one for Sino-Russian relations. The COVID-19 pandemic meant sudden restrictions on contacts between the two countries, significantly hampering the practical realization of numerous forms and areas of bilateral cooperation. All planned visits and meetings of the leaders of the two powers had to be scrapped. Direct high-level contacts through international organizations took place only in part: The Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the SCO took place.
The COVID-19 pandemic somewhat complicated the general atmosphere of bilateral Sino-Russian relations. At the beginning of the year, when the epidemic was localized mainly to China, the Chinese side became irritated when Chinese citizens in Russia were isolated as possible carriers of the virus. Later, however, Russia expressed discontent with China’s strict approach to Russians arriving in the PRC. Evacuating Russian citizens from China proved complicated. Beijing took a rigid position on the issue of restoring regular flights between Russia and China. At the end of the year, China refused to unload fish catches from Russian ships in Chinese ports.
But on the whole, Russia’s position on the pandemic and China’s fight against it is more favorable for Beijing than the position taken by many other countries. First, Moscow refrained from “blaming” China for the spread of the pandemic. Second, support was always expressed at the highest level for the Chinese leadership’s efforts to fight the infection. Third, pandemic mitigation measures in China itself and the assistance (doctors, medicines, medical supplies, and equipment) that China provided to other countries were positively assessed. The title of an article in the Kommersant newspaper from March 20, 2020, is significant: “China is growing healthy, the world is growing envious: China is coping with the virus and offering its assistance to Russia and other countries.” It is noteworthy that at different stages, Russia and China gave each other assistance with mutual deliveries of medical supplies. The pandemic negatively impacted China’s foreign trade. But thanks to steady pipeline oil deliveries in the first months of 2020, Russian-Chinese trade grew slightly compared to 2019. Later, the negative impact of low world oil prices became more appreciable. The first six months saw bilateral trade deteriorate by 5.6% and amounted to $49.15 billion. The results of 2020 showed that the value of Russian-Chinese trade fell by 2.9% compared to 2019 and amounted to $107,765 billion. China’s export was $50,585 billion (1.7% growth) and China’s import from Russia amounted to $57.180 billion, a reduction of 6.6% (data from the General Administration of Customs of the PRC).
The Trump administration’s attacks on both China and Russia that intensified throughout 2020 once again objectively raised the possibility of the two countries forming a military alliance. Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked this question at a session of the Valdai International Discussion Club on October 22, 2020, by Yan Xuetong (Xinjiang University). Putin answered: “So far, we have not set that goal for ourselves. But, in principle, we are not going to rule it out, either. So, we will see.”19
Pro-Western forces in Russia spoke out against the formation of a military alliance between the RF and the PRC, calling it “needless and nonsensical,” since it “would spell the death of the democratization of Russia.”20 This claim, made in a Nezavisimaya gazeta editorial dated October 28, is, in our opinion, unconvincing, since developments in the PRC have practically no impact on the nature of political power in Russia. Moreover, a small remark in effect calls into question Moscow’s foreign policy of the past decade on the grounds that “the West, represented by NATO, does not present a mortal challenge to Russia.” Since a strategic partnership with Beijing is a very real alternative to a new rapprochement between Russia and the West, friendly Russian-Chinese relations come under constant attack from pro-Western circles in Moscow. There is also no merit to the claim that the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance (1950) was “a bad precedent.” This Treaty helped defend the skies of China’s eastern and northeastern provinces from American mass bombardments in 1950-1951. And that alone is sufficient to consider the Treaty highly effective. The Treaty allowed North Korea to preserve its statehood.
But we should remember that the position of Yan Xuetong, who has long advocated for the formation of an official Sino-Russian alliance, is not shared by many Chinese experts on international affairs who received their academic degrees from American universities and who now work closely with specialists from the US. Their chief argument is that Russia’s value as a potential ally is devalued by its economic weakness. Yuan Nansheng, former General Consul of the PRC in San Francisco, comments that “Russia’s economic size cannot be compared to China’s: Russia’s GDP is equivalent to that of Guangdong province. Russia’s insufficient weight in economics and trade was the most significant reason why the US and other Western countries dared to impose sanctions on it.”21 In the near future, we can expect the continuation in both China and Russia of discussions on the possibility and expediency of a bilateral Russian-Chinese alliance.
In late 2020, in their New Year’s Greetings, the leaders of the two countries praised their bilateral relations and noted the need for their further intensification. Xi Jinping mentioned that in an hour of need, the unique nature and special value of Sino-Russian relations were particularly evident. The Chinese leader emphasized that the “strengthening of Sino-Russian strategic cooperation can effectively oppose any attempts to coerce the two countries to break off relations.” Vladimir Putin confirmed Russia’s readiness to pursue with China “closer strategic coordination and cooperation in international affairs and to contribute to the protection of strategic stability in the global scope.”22
A weakening of the pandemic in the world in September and October allowed Beijing to intensify its foreign policy, primarily in a number of areas where ground had clearly been lost in previous months.
Japan was one such area. Wang Yi visited the country. On November 25, in a conversation with Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga, he mentioned that “due to years-long efforts, Sino-Japanese relations are finally getting back on track, and the sides must appreciate this difficult situation.” The Chinese Minister’s view was that the sides should enhance mutual confidence, intensify cooperation in regional integration and global governance, and “appropriately solve delicate problems” to properly commemorate the 50th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2022.23 On November 26, during his visit to the Republic of Korea, Wang Yi and his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha agreed to step up cooperation in many spheres, in particular, to launch Sino-South Korean dialogue on foreign policy and security problems in a “2+2” format, as well as dialogue on maritime problems, to plan the development of Sino-South Korean relations for the next 30 years.24
As usual, Beijing paid special attention to work with international organizations. On November 15, an agreement among 15 countries on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), actively promoted by China, was signed. China used several meetings to promote as much as possible “Chinese solutions to global problems”: the 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (November 20), the 15th Group 20 Leaders’ Summit (November 21), and the 12th BRICS Summit (November 17) conducted online. In his speeches at those forums, PRC Chairman Xi Jinping submitted a total of 23 proposals and initiatives on cooperation on fighting the pandemic, making social and economic development more inclusive, protecting economic globalization, and enhancing the international order on the basis of the central role of the UN.25 On November 10, in his speech at the 20th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO, Xi Jinping emphasized the need to support security and stability in the region as prerequisites for economic growth and enhancing intercivilizational interaction.26
In their effort to stress Xi Jinping’s leading role in China’s foreign policy, English-language mass media coined the term “Xiplomacy” – i.e., “Xi Jinping’s diplomacy.”27
At a January 2, 2021, press conference summing up the results of China’s foreign policy in 2020, PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that it was an unusual year for both China and the world. Unilateralism, protectionism, and power politics became the chief obstacles to international cooperation. As far as foreign policy is concerned, for China, 2020 was a year of progress through overcoming difficulties. China contributed to the protection of global stability and reaped new dividends from the policy of openness. It resolutely opposed American pressure, and effectively defended state sovereignty, national dignity, and its development interests. In 2021, China, according to Wang Yi, will have to create favorable external conditions for realizing the 14th five-year plan goals and new development architectonics (the combination of domestic and foreign circulation in the economy with support from the former). China will further enhance the level of openness, promote high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road, and continue the broadest explanation of the country’s peaceful development path and building of a community of common destiny for mankind.28
Thus, 2020 was a major test for the foreign policy of China’s leadership headed by Xi Jinping.
The COVID-19 pandemic that broke out in Wuhan and later spread around the world required Beijing to concentrate its main efforts on fighting the infection both in China and worldwide. China did everything possible to neutralize the deterioration of its image in the international community while assisting many countries with masks, medicines, and doctors. Nevertheless, the pandemic led to the narrowing of the sphere of Beijing’s foreign policy and suddenly limited the international contacts of the PRC leadership. The opinion of David Shambaugh, a leading American Sinologist, is that China has suffered a significant loss of “soft power.” Now, its appeal to the international community is at one of the lowest levels in history.
Among Beijing’s partners, the United States, Russia, Europe, and India maintained their priority positions. In 2020, Washington began to put harsh pressure on China, including over the issues of China’s domestic policy and political system. Apparently, under Joe Biden, that pressure will let up somewhat, but clearing the obstructions piled up by Donald Trump will take time and significant effort.
In the future, Beijing will also have to contend with a more critical approach toward China that has matured in Europe.
Indian concerns over the nature of China’s policy in South Asia should be considered intently. With its policy toward India, the PRC seems to have pushed Delhi to participate in coalitions aimed at containing China.
The Russian vector of Beijing’s foreign policy is still developing the most favorably. This trend must be consolidated and continued, especially since there are forces in both the PRC and the RF opposing the further rapprochement of our countries.
1. Haenly, Paul, What the Coronavirus Means for China’s Foreign Policy. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. URL: https://carnegieendowment.org.2020/0311/what-coronaviras-means-for-china-s-foreign-policy-pub-81259?utm-source=ctcnewsletteren&utm-medium (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
2. Zhongguo kangyi hezuo, zhechang jizhehui geichu shuzi chengjidan [At the press-conference for journalists, data were provided about China’s achievements in collaboration on fighting the pandemic]. URL: http://world.people.com.en/nl/2020/0524/c.1002-31721459.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
3. “Kangji xin guanfeiyan yiqing de Zhongguo xingdong” baipishu [The Whitepaper “Fighting COVTD-19: China in Action”], Xinhua News Agency, June 7, 2020.
4. Wang Jisi, Zhong Mei liangguo gongzhong xianghu renshi diaocha baogao zongshu – Zhongguo guoji zhanlue pinglun (Shang) [Review of the report on the survey of the mutual knowledge of the masses of two countries (China and the US)], China International Strategy Review. Part 1. Beijing. Peking University, 2020, pp. 11-20. URL: http://www.iiss.pku.edu.cn/research/discuss/202001/4074. (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
5. Yuan Nansheng (2020.) Reflections on Sino-US Relations after the COVID-19 Pandemic – China International Strategy Review, 2, 14-23 (2020.) URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42533-020-00049-5 (in English) (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
6. Wang Yi submitted three proposals to normalize Sino-US relations. URL: http://russian.people.com.cn/n3/2020/0710/31521-9709012.html (Retrieved on 04.03.2021.)
7. Pompeo, Mike (2020.) Communist China and the Free World’s Future. URL: https://aftershock.news/?q=node/8890648&full (in English) (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
8. China will respond resolutely, but reasonably to US recklessness – The Head of the MFAPRC. URL: http://russian.people.com.en/n3/0729/c.31521-9715774.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
9. Pengpeiao shehua yanqiang de manzui huangyan yu shishi zhenxiang [Pompeo’s defamatory speech on China and the real facts], Renmin Ribao, 25.08.2020.
10. China decides to impose sanctions on US companies, individuals, and subjects due to arms sale to Taiwan. URL: http://russian.people.com.en/n3/2020/1027/c. 3152-9773229. html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
11. Sino-US decoupling called unrealistic, harmful for all (Xinhua.) URL: http://en.people.en/n3/2020/1101/c.90000-9775302.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
12. Yan Xuetong, Bipolar Rivalry in the Early Digital Age. The Chinese Journal of International Politics, Vol. 13, # 3, Autumn 2020, pp. 313-341.
13. Borrel, Josep, Kitay dlya Yevrosoyuza – partner, konkurent, opponent [China is a partner, a rival, and an opponent for the EU]. URL: https://ngru.turbopages.org/ng.ru/s/courier/2020-05-17/9-7862_china.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
14. Huang Jing, Changes in Europe’s View of China. International and Strategic Studies Report. Peking University, Issue 95, July 8, 2020, pp. 6-7.
15. Wang Yi’s visit to Europe pointed to the direction of the development of Sino-European relations. URL: http://russian.people.com.cn/n3/2020/0903/c.95181-9753260.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
16. Yu Deguo Oumeng lingdao ren huiwu, Xi Jinping weihe qiangdiao “4 ge jianchi?” [Why did Xi Jinping emphasize \ adherence to “four moments” at the meeting of the leaders of Germany and the European Union?]. URL: http://politics.people.com.en/n1/c.1001-31861721.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
17. Portyakov, V.Ya., Kitayskiye issledovaniya v Indiyi [Chinese Studies in India], Problemy Dal’nego Vostoka, # 5, 2020, pp. 45-55.
18. Chaturvedy, Rajeev, Miao Ji, China-India Studies: Bridging the Perception Gap. URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.en/a/202005/09/WS5eb61191a310a8b2411546ee.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
19. The Session of the Valdai International Discussion Club on October 22, 2020. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/64261 (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
20. The military alliance with China will bury prospects for the democratization of Russia. The Treaty of 2001 serves a strong base for bilateral relations, Nezavisimaya gazeta, Moscow, October 28, 2020.
21. Yuan Nansheng, Reflections on China-US Relations after the COVID-19 Pandemic. China International Strategy Review, 2, 14-23 (2020.) URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42533-020-00049-5 (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
22. Xi Jinping speaks by phone with President of the RF V. Putin. URL: http://russian.people.com.en/n3/2020/1229/c.31521-9803754.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
23. Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga meets with Wang Yi, Xinhua News Agency, November 26, 2020.
24. Wang Yi and the Head of the MFA of the Republic of Korea achieve consensus on 10 points during negotiations, Xinhua News Agency, November 27, 2020.
25. Xi Jinping submits Chinese solutions to global problems – Wang Yi. URL: http://russian.people.com.cn/n3/2020/1123/c31521-9786206.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
26. The complete text of PRC Chairman Xi Jinping’s speech at the 20th Session of the Council of Heads of the SCO Member States. URL: http://russian.people.com.cn/n3/2020/1111/c.31521-9778692-2.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
27. Xiplomacy shows China’s sense of responsibility in a time of pandemic, global recession. URL: http://en.people.cn/n3/2020/1125/c90000-9788905.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)
28. Wang Yi jiu 2020 nian guoji xingshi he waijiao gongzuo jieshou Xinhuashe he Zhong-yang guangbo dianshi zongtai lianhe caifang [Wang Yi speaks about the international situation and diplomatic work in 2020 with a joint group of Xinhua News Agency and the Central Broadcasting and Television]. URL: http://world.people.com.cn/n1/2021/0102/c. 1002-31986935.html (Retrieved on March 4, 2021.)