Inside Story

Why is China being accused of ‘coercive diplomacy’?

Australia’s Strategic Policy Institute says it has recorded 152 cases of Beijing’s ‘coercive diplomacy’.

“Hide your strength. Bide your time.”

That famous phrase by China’s Communist leader Deng Xiaoping governed the country’s foreign policy for decades.

But not any more.

Under the current president, Xi Jinping, Beijing has become an active – some would say aggressive – player on the global stage.

Almost a year ago, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of using “coercion” as a statecraft tool – a charge strongly rejected by China’s foreign ministry.

But Australia’s Strategic Policy Institute says it has now recorded 152 cases of what it calls Beijing’s “coercive diplomacy” spread across 27 countries over the last decade.

Is China breaking international norms or simply doing what big powers do?

Presenter: Imran Khan


Einar Tangen – China political analyst

Theresa Fallon – director of Centre for Russia, Europe and Asia Studies

Christopher Balding – professor, Fulbright University Vietnam