Quiz: Can you master Xi’s Thought on Diplomacy?

7 questions to help you understand what China says and what it really means

If diplomacy is a battlefield, then language is the weaponry. However, diplomatic jargon often makes it difficult to understand the underlying intentions of states. This is particularly so in the case of the People’s Republic of China, where the decision-making apparatus is extremely opaque. With Beijing’s growing global profile, we thought it’d be a good idea to decode Chinese diplomatic jargon, outlining its foreign policy ambitions and approaches.

Take this quiz to see how well you understand what China says and what it means.

1. In an unprecedented move, Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced that Beijing will host a peace summit to restart the stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks. Leaders from the Quartet group will be attending the meeting, with a Beijing Peace Accord likely to be signed. From a Chinese perspective, what narrative suits this policy best?
2. The third meeting of the Quad nations - Japan, India, Australia and the US - ended with a decision to hold the group’s first ever joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean. US Defence Secretary James Mattis, meanwhile, said that America will work with allies to counter militarisation in the South China Sea. As a mandarin sitting in Beijing, what’s the language that you’d adopt to describe this announcement?
3. China hosted military delegations from across Africa recently. China and Africa are expected to announce a major military partnership agreement, including training, equipment sales and joint drills, at September’s China-Africa summit. The deal is unsurprisingly likely to raise eyebrows around the Western world. To manage this, the Chinese foreign minister is most likely to describe such an agreement as:
4. After the US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, China proposes the inclusion of development as a core aspect of human rights along with respect for national conditions. What rhetorical category would such a proposed reform of global norms fall under?
5. A Taiwanese pro-independence group has announced that it will be conducting non-binding referendum on April 6, 2019. When asked about this development, President Trump said that democracies must reflect the will of the people. As a Chinese diplomat what would be your response to this development?
6. A government-affiliated Japanese think tank publishes a provocative nuclear security assessment. The document offers a multiple scenario analysis, with one of them foreseeing the breakdown of the US-Japan military alliance requiring Japan to develop its nuclear arsenal. How would the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson react to such a document?
7. The European Union has reportedly agreed upon strict new rules governing foreign investment in infrastructure projects and mandated new inspections on Chinese investments in high-tech companies. EU member states are likely to approve the new rules during their next summit meeting. How would Beijing describe such a policy?
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About the author

Manoj Kewalramani

Manoj Kewalramani is a multimedia journalist based in New Delhi. Over the past 11 years, he has worked with prominent news networks in India and China. His news and editorial work includes field reporting, commissioning and managing assignments and producing shows and documentaries along with formulating and executing digital news strategies. Manoj is an alumnus of Takshashila’s Graduate Certificate in Public Policy. At Takshashila, he curates a weekly brief, Eye on China, which tracks developments in China from an Indian perspective.