In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Malin Oud joins us to discuss the importance of language in understanding China’s diplomatic and international cooperation strategies. Ms. Oud breaks down China’s efforts to both redefine international values and standards, such as “democracy,” “rule of law” and “human rights," and promote its own definitions when interacting with other nations via diplomacy and international cooperation. She argues that China’s efforts to both weaken current international norms and promote its own norms on the global stage indicates that China has growing confidence in itself and its political system. This increased confidence, Ms. Oud explains, has increased China’s desire to build its discursive power, and become a “rule maker” rather than a “rule taker.” Lastly, Ms. Oud states that when Western nations engage with China, they need to not only understand what China means when it uses the language of international values and standards, but also strengthen their own, domestic capabilities so as to meaningfully defend current standards and international norms.
Malin Oud is the Director of the Stockholm Office of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. She was the founder and Managing Director of Tracktwo, Sweden, and was previously the Programme Manager for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Her most recent report, The Decoding China Dictionary, co-edited with Katja Drinhausen, was published earlier this year by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and International Law.