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Xi Jinping's stay-at-home diplomacy is working for now

Pushback against Beijing's muscle-flexing may soon force a rethink

| China
Xi Jinping attends the 13th BRICS summit via video link on Sept. 9: virtual diplomacy has possibly helped avoid some awkward moments.   © Xinhua/AP

Suisheng Zhao is a professor at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies and director of its Center for China-U.S. Cooperation.

Despite all the hand-wringing, President Xi Jinping did not travel to Europe for the recent Group of 20 leaders' summit, or to Scotland for the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference of the Parties, known as COP26. Limiting his diplomatic interactions to video-link and telephone, Xi has not traveled abroad or met foreign visitors in person since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

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