China welcomes Cambodian and Zambian leaders as it forges deeper ties with Global South

BEIJING (AP) — China and Zambia upgraded their relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership on Friday, the latest move by America’s chief global rival to forge deeper ties with the Global South.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Zambian counterpart announced the agreement shortly after Xi had exchanged cordial words with another visitor, the new prime minister of Cambodia. The flurry of diplomatic activity came just two days after Venezuela’s president met Xi and the two elevated their countries’ ties to an “all-weather” partnership.

The trio of leaders from Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America speak to China’s growing role in those parts of the world and China’s ambitions to be a global leader. Facing growing pressure from the U.S. and its partners, which fear China’s rise could disrupt the existing international order, the world’s second largest economy is trying to project itself as a powerful nation standing up for the interests of the Global South.