Chinese state media pounced on the discrepancy, too, using it as an opportunity to tout China’s global role:

“Against the backdrop of the chaotic meetings of the G7 of the West, the SCO summit in Qingdao was particularly fruitful, and caught the world’s attention,” said an editorial (link in Chinese) in state tabloid Global Times published yesterday (June 10). “Unilateralism is strong on the surface, but in reality it’s difficult to sustain.”

Since last year’s Davos, Xi has positioned himself as the inheritor of America’s leadership role on issues ranging from free trade to climate change. Increasingly, China seems to believe that other countries should look to it for inspiration on how to manage their political systems, economies, and cyberspace, among other things, despite its approaches running contrary to long-held Western values of freedom and democracy.

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