Blue Book on China's overseas security risk levels released; US labeled 'extremely high'

By Zhao Juecheng and Liu Caiyu (Global Times) 11:23, January 25, 2024

Photo: China Overseas Security Research Institute (COSRI)

Photo: China Overseas Security Research Institute (COSRI)

A blue book on China's overseas security risks released on Wednesday predicted that the global security situation in 2024 will see a return to geopolitical games, with the risk levels of 29 countries and regions, including the US, classified as "extremely high."

The "China Overseas Security Risk Blue Book" (2024), jointly released by the National Security Institute of Renmin University of China and the China Overseas Security Research Institute (COSRI), also states that 2024 will witness ongoing regional conflicts, a slowdown in global economic growth, the spread of major power competition to the domain of the sea, and an increase in security risks in hotspot countries. Among them, the US presidential election will significantly exacerbate uncertainty in China-US relations.

From the perspective of China's security and interests, the evaluation delineates six categories of risks that China is facing, including domestic political risks, diplomatic risks, economic and financial risks, and social security risks, as well as public health and natural disaster risks, Qi Kai, the deputy of the Blue Book, told the Global Times.

"The extremely high risk rating refers to both the suppression of China by the US in terms of foreign investment, trade, and other aspects, as well as the significant influence of the US as a global hegemonic power impacting China's investments in other countries and regions worldwide. In 2023, the risk rating for the US was 'medium,'" Qi noted.

The Blue Book has been published for eight consecutive years. This series of reports aims to comprehensively and systematically assess China's overseas security risks from multiple dimensions such as politics, economy, and society, focusing on the current situation, trends, and key areas of China's overseas security risks.

The Blue Book has predicted 10 overseas security risks that China is about to face in 2024. Among them are an intensified perception of China among the Western world, the US presidential election significantly exacerbating uncertainty in China-US relations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Middle East instability, the EU continuation of "risk reduction" concerning China, rising economic nationalism in neighboring countries, the ongoing impact of the Russia-Ukraine situation on regional stability and cooperation, political changes in multiple African countries affecting China's investment security, developed countries continuing to contain the global expansion of Chinese companies, intensified competition for global key mineral resources, and digital technology becoming a new hotspot for competition with China.

2024 is the "Global Election Year," with approximately 50 countries and regions worldwide scheduled to hold elections, including the US, Russia, India, and others. Among them, the 60th US presidential election will take place in November.

The Blue Book states that the development of China-US relations cannot be separated from the US election. The 2024 US presidential election will remain the biggest uncertainty affecting bilateral relations.

The Blue Book states that as a barometer of US domestic public opinion, the US election will become a stage for both parties' candidates to showcase their stance on China. Through election propaganda, it will also become a powerful means to confront China through public opinion warfare. The final election result will directly impact the direction of China-US relations, it says.

In addition, the Blue Book predicts that the risk of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may spill over to neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria, posing a threat to China's overseas interests and security in these countries.

It noted that after the outbreak of this round of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Houthi group in Yemen launched attacks on ships passing through the Red Sea. The US, in collaboration with multiple countries, has deployed naval forces in the region, which has already affected China's maritime trade with European countries.

If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict further escalates, the Red Sea may become a new battlefield, posing an extremely serious security threat to the Suez Canal-Red Sea route. This situation will also have a negative impact on China's trade with Europe and the Middle East, the Blue Book pointed out.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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