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Explainer: How ‘Modernization’ Became China’s Newest Talking Point

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang speaking at the Lanting Forum on Chinese Modernization in Shanghai on April 22, 2023. Image via Xinhua.

Qin Gang’s first press conference as Foreign Minister also saw the launch of a new Africa-focused talking point: Chinese modernization is different from and more inclusive than that of the West.

Since then, Qin has repeated this point for example, at the Lanting Forum in Shanghai last week. It may seem abstruse, but the ‘Chinese modernization’ narrative has deep roots in a wider conflict between the United States and the Global South.

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