As U.S. retreats from world organizations, China steps in to fill the void

Foreign Policy reports: China’s latest bid to flex its diplomatic muscles on the world stage rests in the hands of Qian Tang, a little-known 66-year-old Chinese United Nations bureaucrat campaigning to head up the organization’s top cultural, scientific, and education agency.

Tang, the assistant director-general for education at the Paris-based UNESCO, is one of a growing stable of Chinese nationals Beijing is promoting to serve in top international posts. The push reflects Beijing’s desire to project a more visible “soft power” profile around the world and fill a political void left by an American administration that has grown skeptical of multilateralism.

“China wants to fulfill its global responsibility and contribute to peace and development at a global level,” Tang told Foreign Policy in an interview. “They think UNESCO is a good platform.” [Continue reading…]

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