Storella Comments on China’s Pragmatic Foreign Policy Strategy

Ambassador Mark Storella, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy at the Pardee School, published an op-ed in The Hill on China’s current stance towards Russia and its history of backing some of the worst human rights violators in the world.

In the article, titled “Does China win betting on losers,” Storella outlines China’s relationships with odious regimes – the Kim dynasty in North Korea, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and the military junta in Myanmar – and how they serve to benefit the country. He argues that China’s foreign policy strategy is strictly pragmatic, structured around the strategic benefits relationships deliver rather than relationships with individual leaders.

In the case of Russia today, Storella says that China is attempting to have its cake and eat it too, refusing to block or even condemn Russia’s brutal invasion while also suggesting some rhetorical distance from Moscow’s atrocities. As Russia continues its violent invasion of Ukraine, he says that China whether China condemns Vladimir Putin’s invasion or not, it will be a calculated move driven by pragmatism and not abhorrence for the actions.

The full op-ed can be read on The Hill‘s website.

Ambassador Mark C. Storella was a United States Foreign Service Officer for over three decades serving as Ambassador to Zambia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, and Dean of the Leadership and Management School of the Foreign Service Institute. Storella is recipient of the Presidential Rank Award, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Excellence in Service Award, the Thomas Jefferson Award presented by American Citizens Abroad, and several Department of State superior and meritorious honor awards. Learn more about Ambassador Storella on his faculty profile.