The Silk Road is turning China’s diplomacy on its head

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Since Deng Xiaoping’s 1992 tour of southern China, the Middle Kingdom has been on the rise. As China’s growth gained momentum in the early 2000s, then president Hu Jintao reaffirmed that the country would focus on developing itself internally as it did not have the resources for foreign ventures. China, he said, would go against the course of history and rise “peacefully”. Although heralded by watchers at the time as a marked shift in China’s foreign affairs, Hu was simply reaffirming Zhou Enlai’s policy of non-interference from the 1970s.

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