China now operates more diplomatic outposts around the world than any other country, displacing the United States as it continues its push to become the top global power.
According to the 2019 Global Diplomacy Index, released last week by the Lowy Institute, China now operates a total of 276 embassies, consulates, and permanent missions. The United States ranked second with 273 diplomatic posts.
As China expanded its reach over the past two years, the United States stepped back. Last year, Moscow ordered the United States to close its consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia, following a breakdown of diplomatic relations. The United States has not announced any new posts.
“This diplomatic expansion by China is probably linked to its economic interests in particular,” Lowy research fellow Bonnie Bley told Australia’s Newcastle Herald. France, Japan, and Russia were the next three nations on the list. —O.O.