5-speed listening (Diplomatic Posts - Level 3)

China overtakes USA for most diplomatic posts



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China is now the country with the most diplomatic posts around the world. Diplomatic posts are embassies, consulates, high commissions and other places to represent a country overseas. China overtook the USA as the country with the most diplomatic posts. China now has 276 diplomatic posts globally, while the USA has 273. The two countries have an equal number of embassies, but China has more consulates than the U.S. China overtook the USA as the most diplomatically represented country after it opened five new embassies in the past two years. The embassies are in Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the Gambia and Sao Tome and the Principe.

Information about how many diplomatic posts countries have was published by an organization called the Lowy Institute. Its report is called the Global Diplomacy Index. Bonnie Bley, a spokeswoman from the Lowy Institute, said the Index shows how China is having more influence around the world. She said the number of China's diplomatic posts shows it wants to be a key player in geopolitics and the global economy. Ms Bley said: "The results suggest that, on a practical level, China's network of overseas consulates can support the rollout of Beijing's economic ambitions." While China is expanding its diplomatic presence around the world, Ms Bley said: "U.S. diplomacy has entered a period of limbo".

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