The degree and scope of constraints imposed by International Organizations (IOs) on States are increasing, and identifying the factors affecting the IOs’ stances on States is helpful to enhance the state's discourse power and influence in the international community. First, by coding the records of Regular Press Conferences of the Speaking Office of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the period of 20182022, we obtained a dataset of IOs’ stances on China-related events. Second, we constructed political relation, economic relation, and humanistic relation indicators to complement the influence factors, adopted the Bayesian logit model, and applied the Monte Carlo Markov chain algorithm and Gibbs sampling to analyze the probability of IOs’ positive stances towards China. The result shows that IOs’ category, length of establishment, functional position, and relationship with China are all related to their tendency of making a statement about China. In terms of the heterogeneity of event types, forum-type IOs are significantly inclined to give positive assessment compared to service-type IOs on events focusing on China's own development. Further analysis reveals that the model for analyzing and predicting the attitudes of IOs is more effective when the international situation is in a stable period.

As a major platform and important force in global governance, International Organizations (lOs) play an indispensable role in addressing global challenges and resolving international disputes. According to the records of the Yearbook of International Organizations, by the end of 2021, a total of more than 75,000 governmental and nongovernmental IOs existed globally, which gradually became a new front for strategic competition among great powers and an important force in shaping international rules and global order [1][2].

Since the Russo-Ukrainian War, many IOs, including the UN Security Council, the Munich Security Conference, the International Court of Justice, the International Organization for Mutual Assistance in Oncology, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and others, have imposed a series of sanctions on Russia. They have isolated and attacked Russia in a full range in the fields such as finance and economy, trade and transportation, cyber-public opinion, science, technology and academics, sports and the arts. Russia, therefore, has actively or passively withdrawn from the Human Rights Council, the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which has dealt a profound blow to Russia's leading position in the conduct of international affairs.

In fact, many sovereign states face similar risks to a certain extent in the process of participating in international affairs through IOs. This is due to the fact that a few States currently dominate the rule-making and interpretation in many IOs, which poses a challenge to other States in safeguarding their interests in these organizations. The study on attitudes of IOs towards specific States is of strategic value. As it is conducive to States’ identification of influencing factors, which contribute to the tendentious decision-making of IOs. Thereby, States can put forward national strategies featuring their own characteristics to enhance their voice, influence and decision-making power in IOs [3].

However, there is a lack of discussion on the tendency of IOs’ attitudes towards the State in existing studies, and few scholars have conducted empirical research on the current situation of IOs, which make it difficult to provide data support for evaluating States’ status in their participation in international affairs. Therefore, based on the events of China's response to IOs’ stances towards it, this paper uses Bayesian Logit Model (BLM) to study the impact of different influencing factors on the probability of IOs’ positive stances. Our work is crucial to the clarification of priorities for reducing the risk of being dominated. Meanwhile, we put forward some suggestions for China, which will help it effectively adjust its path of participation in international affairs and build a guarantee system to enhance its international discourse power.

On the impact of IOs on States, numerous scholars have studied it from a long-term perspective. On the one hand, the positive impact, clearly the most concerned part, answers the necessity of the existence of lOs. Apart from the obvious role to enhance cooperation among member States [4], membership in lOs has many benefits for States themselves. First of all, lOs are beneficial for States to formulate policies with long-term interests in mind. They also provide additional impetus to States when conducting long-lasting reforms [5]. Especially when States encounter great development challenges, such as post-conflict outbreaks, IOs can contribute significantly to relief and development promotion [6]. Secondly, participation in IOs is beneficial to national governance as government credibility will be enhanced and political risk will be reduced [7]. Moreover, the national economic sector can also benefit from joining IOs because lower political risk will attract foreign direct investment [8][9].

However, less scholars have put forward different views on whether IOs are favourable to Inter-State cooperation or not. International organizations with multilateralism at their core, while providing avenues for States to address global issues, also limit their autonomy. When some States with the same interest orientation set up IOs for the purpose of cooperation, it means that another part of non-interested States are excluded by them [10]. Those States cannot participate in their deliberations, and thus cannot provide them with useful information. In addition, IOs also play a standard-setting role by which they categorize States and treat them differently [11]. The split between Annex I and non-Annex I countries in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations is a typical case in point [12], proving that the differentiated treatment of IOs affects the negotiations between different categories of States. Nonetheless, it has become an irreversible trend to enhance the status of lOs in the handling of international affairs.

In the short-term perspective, how IOs make decisions on emergencies is also closely related to the State's interests. Clearly, there is a tendency for collusion in IOs [13], and the objectivity of their decision-making should be questioned. For example, the IMF's decisions are influenced by geopolitical factors [14]. There is a complex game behind every decision of IOs, and there are many different types of motives, such as pragmatism, organizational expansion and political interests [15]. Therefore, identifying the factors affecting the stances of IOs in specific events is important for States when participating in international life. For it is a matter of national interests and judgment on whether one has an advantage in international interactions.

For the research on the decision-making tendency of IOs to the States, scholars mainly take the independence of IOs as the main subject to discuss. IOs with a higher independence are manipulated by member States in a lower degree, and the risk of being dominated in the process of its participation in international affairs is lower. As institutional arrangements between States to overcome collective action problems and promote international cooperation, IOs have to serve member States’ interests to a certain extent, or even few dominate member States’ interests. The study on their independence started in the 1960s, due to the emergence of independent behaviors of IOs that were not controlled by the will of their member States [16].

The opposite of independence is instrumentality, the degree of each varies in different IOs. On the one hand, it depends on the functional type of the IO and the prominence of its issues [17]. Service-type IOs with lower prominence of the issues involved are less influenced by the will of the member States, and they have higher independence. On the other hand, it depends on the viability [18] and willingness [19] of lOs to survive. IOs with a technical nature [20], a large number of member States [21] and a long history of establishment [22][23] always present a strong willingness to survive. They are less dependent on material and information resources provided by member States. Now, we focus on China's interaction with IOs and discuss how different IOs react when incidents involving China occur.

First, different types of IOs may differ in their organizational objectives, such as economics, society, culture, security, etc., and these differences in objectives may lead to differences in organizational autonomy. For example, a security-oriented IO may have a greater need to maintain independence and autonomy, in order to make quick decisions and take action in times of crisis. While an economic-oriented IO may need to consult and cooperate more with its member States to ensure the rules and policies on trade are in line with their interests. In addition, IOs’ autonomy may also vary depending on the length of their establishment, which depends on multiple factors such as their culture, structure, international environment and so on. For older IOs, they either pay more attention to member States’ views and interests or have large and complicated institutional setups and decision-making procedures, which make decision-making and implementation slower and more cumbersome, limiting their autonomy and independence. However, they may also enhance their autonomy and have more flexibility in their decision-making and implementation processes, after facing the complicated and volatile international environment and situation.

Hypothesis 1: Different types of IOs have different probabilities of making positive statements.

Hypothesis 2: IOs with different lengths of establishment reflect different levels of independence, and their willingness to take a positive stance may differ.

Second, the functional orientation of IOs is mainly divided into service-type IOs and forum-type IOs, and this is also a major factor leading to differences in the autonomy of IOs. Forum-type IOs mainly focus on discussion, consultation and opinion expression, usually with no actual executive power. While service-type IOs mainly focus on service provision, project implementation and problem solving, usually with a certain degree of executive power. This distinction in functional positioning leads to differences in organizational autonomy and independence. Forum-type IOs may be more subject to the influence and constraints of their member States, whereas service-type IOs may be more independent and autonomous in their work and actions.

Hypothesis 3: Since the survival of forum-type IOs is more dependent on their member States, it is more difficult for them to give positive comment on China, which has insufficient international discourse power.

Third, although IOs play an important role in providing global public goods, their actions are often constrained and influenced by their member States. The discussion of China's relationship with the member States is therefore of particular importance. Since political [24], economic [25] and humanistic relations [26], as the three most important aspects of international relations, are the core elements of interstate interaction. Therefore, when measuring China's bilateral relations with specific member States, we evaluate it in three aspects: bilateral political relations, bilateral economic relations, and bilateral humanistic relations.

For the measurement of bilateral political relation, we selected bilateral political position differences and the length of diplomatic relation as indicators. Bilateral political position difference is constructed by using the UN General Assembly voting data to reflect the political preference of each country. The UN General Assembly voting data has strong extensiveness, durability and stability, which reflects the political and diplomatic activities, so the bilateral political position difference indicator serves as an important indicator for scholars to study the bilateral political relation.

For the bilateral economic relation, we selected the length of Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), the length of Double Tax Agreement (DTA), and bilateral trade dependency as indicators. BITs concluded between two States aim at promoting, encouraging, protecting and guaranteeing international private investment and stipulate the rights and obligations of the two parties by means of a written agreement. Similarly, the signing of DTA is conducive to the stable development of bilateral tax relation, which in turn has a positive effect on the development of bilateral economic relation. Trade dependency can comprehensively reflect the bilateral trade situation after being influenced by the trade policies and various agreements between the two States.

For bilateral humanistic relation, the length of visa exemptions and the number of Confucius Institutes were selected to quantitatively analyze the degree of humanistic exchanges between two States. Mutual visa exemption not only promotes diplomatic ties, but also indirectly creates a pro-business and business-friendly environment, which can promote interaction in bilateral tourism and cultural exchanges, and promote mutual understanding. The construction of Confucius Institutes can promote the spread of Chinese culture and narrow the cultural distance between two sides.

Hypothesis 4: The closer IOs are to China, the more inclined they are to give positive comments on China-related events, and the deepening of political relation, economic relation and humanistic relation have different impact degrees.

Fourth, the participation and contribution of member States have a significant impact on IOs’ operations and decision-making. Member States that are actively involved in international affairs usually have greater influence and contribute to IOs’ development and functioning. They will also receive more attention and support from IOs.

Hypothesis 5: Attention preference of IOs to incidents is influenced by China's participation in the organization. The further China participates in international affairs through IOs, the more IOs pay attention to China's international behaviors.

Fifth, for global issues solving, such as climate change, poverty, diseases, wars and so on, IOs with a larger number of member States may be more concerned. Because of the seriousness and urgency of these problems, cooperation on a global scale have become particularly important. IOs with a larger number of member States usually have wider representation and influence, and are more likely to attract the participation and support from countries, thus achieving worldwide collaboration and coordination. As a result, such IOs focus more on international behavioral incidents, especially involving the interests of all member States, in order to maintain a good environment and order for international cooperation.

Hypothesis 6: IOs with a large number of member States pay more attention to China's international behavioral incidents.

Finally, we also introduce the period of incident occurrence to specifically measure a portion of random effects. Multilateralism tends to be promoted in peace time and weakened in crisis time, and since the importance of factors affecting IOs’ decision-making may vary under different periods, we will analyze separately according to the different periods when the incidents occurred.

4.1 Structure of Bayesian Logit Models

The factors including the occurrence period and type of incidents, the length of establishment of IOs, their functional orientation, and number of member States are taken as the unordered categorical explanatory variables of the model. The IO stance is modeled as a binary response variable (positive stance incidents assigned 1; negative stance incidents assigned 0) to explore the effects of different factors on the probability of positive IOs’ stance towards China.

The classic Logistic regression is essentially a generalized linear model. It treats the model parameters as fixed unknown constants and uses the data to estimate the optimal values of the parameters. In Bayesian approach, the parameters are considered as random variables and the data are used to fit the parameters in order to assess their distributional properties. Considering that the Bayesian Logit Model (BLM) has the advantages in the form of logistic equations and Bayesian reasoning, and has excellent performance in the treatment of categorical variables, we adopt the BLM.

Taking the IOs’ stances and the type of China-related incidents as two dependent variables, the regression equations are set up as follows:

atti=Logit(pi)=ln(pi1pi)=β1domi+β2lifi+β3funi+β4poli+β5ecoi+β6culi+β0
(1)

Where, when IO's attitude towards China in the incident i is positive, atti = 1, otherwise, atti = 0. The probability of the positive attitude is pi, and its value range is 0 to 1. β0 is the constant term of the model; atti is the IOs’ attitude, which is a binary dependent variable, and domi, lifi, funi, poli, ecoi, culi are the independent variables, which respectively are the IOs’ category, the IOs’ founding length when incident occurred, the IOs’ functional position, and China's political, economic and humanistic relations with IOs’ member States then.

reli=Logit(qi)=ln(qi1qi)=ηiicei+η2icfi+η3nmci+η0
(2)

Where, when lO's attention type in the incident i is the connection between China and the world, reli = 1, otherwise, reli = 0. The probability of China's international behavior attention is qi, and its value range is 0 to 1. η0 is the constant term of the model; reli is the IOs’ attention type in China-related incidents, which is a binary dependent variable, and icei, icfi, nmci are the independent variables, which indicates respectively whether China participated or not, whether the IO was managed by Chinese or not, and the number of member States in the IO at the time of the incident.

From (1), the formula for the probability P at time atti = 1 is shown in (3):

P={atti=1domi,lifi,funi,poli,ecoi,culi}=eβ1domi+β2lifi+β3funi+β4poli+β5ecoi+β6culi+β01+eβ1domi+β2lifj+β3funi+β4poli+β5ecoi+β6culi+β0
(3)

Similarly, according to (2), it can be deduced that the formula for the probability of Q at the time reli = 1 is:

Q={re|i=1icei,icfi,nmci}=eφiicei+φiici+φ3nmci+φ01+eφiicei+φiici+φ3nmci+φ0
(4)

In estimating the parameters β1 and ηk (j = 0,1,…,6; k = 0,1,…,3), Bayesian credible intervals can be constructed by calculating the posterior probabilities P and Q, and provide probabilistic interpretations of the estimated parameters.

4.2 Variable Selection and Explanation

4.2.1 Dependent Variables

The records of the Regular Press Conferences of the Speaking Office of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (CMFA) during the period of 2018-2022 are the main source of data for the incident analysis of this paper. This is because the recorded incidents responded by CMFA have the following three major advantages First, the keywords in the text of the CMFA's response can be used to clearly determine the IOs’ stances in the incidents. Second, the responded incidents and the IOs involved we will focus on have had significant impacts on China's participation in international affairs. Third, the times of responding to different types of incidents and IOs can be regarded as weights of the importance. With reference to some scholars’ coding suggestions and implementation strategies [27][28], we organize our work into two stages. Firstly, we select and extract IO-related content from the records of the Regular Press Conference of the CMFA Speech Office, and convert complicated textual content into simple and easy-to-recognize numbers through coding. The specific coding concepts involved in this paper are shown in Table 1. This coding process was done independently by the 3 researchers. Second, the results of the one-stage coding were validated and compared, and we discussed the results when the three researchers’ coding results were inconsistent, and reached consensus by re-coding and keywords supplementation.

Table 1.

Coding Concept.

NotionMeasurement VariablesConceptualizationKeywords Citation
Organizational attitudes Positive When CMFA's response is positive, it considers the relevant IOs’ attitude towards China-related incidents as positive Positively comment, agree, appreciate, thank, cooperate, benefit from, contribute to, fair and objective, clarified the facts, held activities, communicated, etc. 
 Negative When CMFA responds negatively, it considers the relevant IOs’ stance on China-related incidents as negative Abuse, discredit, dissatisfaction, oppose, violate, reject, urge, internal censorship, defend reputation, file lawsuits, take measures, regret, etc. 
Types of China-related Incidents China's Domestic Behavior Incidents involve only China itself, no other stakeholders Business environment, economic development, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, patent applications, human rights perspectives, etc. 
 China's International Behavior Incidents involve subjects with interests other than China Epidemic prevention and control, Belt and Road, cooperative projects, RMB, international trade, war, political confrontation, diplomacy, customs, investment agreements, Huawei threat, etc. 
NotionMeasurement VariablesConceptualizationKeywords Citation
Organizational attitudes Positive When CMFA's response is positive, it considers the relevant IOs’ attitude towards China-related incidents as positive Positively comment, agree, appreciate, thank, cooperate, benefit from, contribute to, fair and objective, clarified the facts, held activities, communicated, etc. 
 Negative When CMFA responds negatively, it considers the relevant IOs’ stance on China-related incidents as negative Abuse, discredit, dissatisfaction, oppose, violate, reject, urge, internal censorship, defend reputation, file lawsuits, take measures, regret, etc. 
Types of China-related Incidents China's Domestic Behavior Incidents involve only China itself, no other stakeholders Business environment, economic development, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, patent applications, human rights perspectives, etc. 
 China's International Behavior Incidents involve subjects with interests other than China Epidemic prevention and control, Belt and Road, cooperative projects, RMB, international trade, war, political confrontation, diplomacy, customs, investment agreements, Huawei threat, etc. 

According to the content analysis and extraction from the recorded materials of the Regular Press Conference of CMFA’ Speaking Office, a total of 215 incidents of attitude expressions of IOs towards China are identified, involving 30 IOs. These IOs cover the five major categories of economy, politics, society, ecology and culture. Among these incidents, a total of 152 incidents of positive attitude towards China are identified, while 63 incidents of negative attitude identified. The total number of statements on China's domestic behavior is 69, and the total number of statements on China's international behavior is 146.

4.2.2 Independent Variables

In order to comprehensively and systematically analyze the factors that influence IOs to make inclined decisions, we combine the characteristics of incidents with existing indicators of organizational independence to construct an indicator system. It includes IOs’ Independence, IOs’ Instrumentality and Incident Attributes.

In particular, China's political, economic and humanistic relations with IOs require scoring and rating. Defining China's relations scores with an IO as the average of China's bilateral relations scores with all member States of the organization. For example, China's political relation score with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2018 was 68.749, which is the average of China's bilateral political relation scores with 165 member States within the WTO in 2018.

In terms of the calculation of bilateral relations, the 193 countries recognized by the UN are taken as the sample, and seven sub-indicators are selected to reflect bilateral political relation, bilateral economic relation and bilateral humanistic relation. The specific indicators are described in Table 2. The sample time span is 2018-2022, with a total of five years of data collection. The data for measuring bilateral relations mainly come from government websites, databases of IOs and authoritative research institutes, which to a large extent ensures the authenticity and reliability of the data. Most of the original data are bilateral data and have been counted on the China side, therefore, they can basically cover all sample States.

Table 2.

Indicators’ Introduction and Data Sources.

Impact FactorIndicator NameSymbolIndicator DescriptionData Source
IOs’ Independence Length of Establishment lif Length of establishment of IOs at the time of incidents Based on the time of IOs’ establishment 
 Functional Orientation fun Divided into service type and forum type IOs’ Official Websites 
 Organizational Category dom Economic, Social, Ecological, Cultural, Political CMFA and Country Regional and Global Governance (CRGG) Data Platform 
 Number of Member States nmc Number of member States of IO at the time of the incident IOs’ Official Websites 
IOs’ Instrumentality Whether China is Engaged ice Whether China is a member of the organization CMFA and IOs’ Official Websites 
 Whether Chinese is in Charge icp Whether the Chinese person CMFA and IOs’ Official in charge of the organization at Websites the time of the incident  
 Political Relation Between China and IOs pol Score based on differences in bilateral political positions, length of diplomatic relation with member States at the time of incidents CMFA and HARVARD Dataverse 
 Economic Relation Between China and IOs eco Scoring is based on the length of BIT, DTA, and trade dependence at the time of incidents Ministry of Commerce, State Administration of Taxation, 2017-2022 China Statistical Yearbook published by the National Bureau of Statistics, UNCTAD database 
 Humanistic Relation Between China and IOs cul Scoring is based on the number of Confucius Institutes, the duration of mutual visa exemptions at the time of incidents Annual Development Report of Confucius Institutes and the official website of Confucius Institutes, China Consular Service Website 
Incident Attributes Incident Period sit According to the World Uncertainty Index issued by the United Nations, the international situation is categorized into peace and crisis periods UN Databases, Recorded materials of the Regular Press Conference of the Speaking Office of CMFA 
 Types of China-Related Incidents rel Categorized into China's domestic behavioral incidents and China's international behavioral incidents Recorded materials of the Regular Press Conference of the Speaking Office of CMFA 
 Organizational Attitudes att Organizational stances on incidents are categorized as positive and negative Recorded materials of the Regular Press Conference of the Speaking Office of CMFA 
Impact FactorIndicator NameSymbolIndicator DescriptionData Source
IOs’ Independence Length of Establishment lif Length of establishment of IOs at the time of incidents Based on the time of IOs’ establishment 
 Functional Orientation fun Divided into service type and forum type IOs’ Official Websites 
 Organizational Category dom Economic, Social, Ecological, Cultural, Political CMFA and Country Regional and Global Governance (CRGG) Data Platform 
 Number of Member States nmc Number of member States of IO at the time of the incident IOs’ Official Websites 
IOs’ Instrumentality Whether China is Engaged ice Whether China is a member of the organization CMFA and IOs’ Official Websites 
 Whether Chinese is in Charge icp Whether the Chinese person CMFA and IOs’ Official in charge of the organization at Websites the time of the incident  
 Political Relation Between China and IOs pol Score based on differences in bilateral political positions, length of diplomatic relation with member States at the time of incidents CMFA and HARVARD Dataverse 
 Economic Relation Between China and IOs eco Scoring is based on the length of BIT, DTA, and trade dependence at the time of incidents Ministry of Commerce, State Administration of Taxation, 2017-2022 China Statistical Yearbook published by the National Bureau of Statistics, UNCTAD database 
 Humanistic Relation Between China and IOs cul Scoring is based on the number of Confucius Institutes, the duration of mutual visa exemptions at the time of incidents Annual Development Report of Confucius Institutes and the official website of Confucius Institutes, China Consular Service Website 
Incident Attributes Incident Period sit According to the World Uncertainty Index issued by the United Nations, the international situation is categorized into peace and crisis periods UN Databases, Recorded materials of the Regular Press Conference of the Speaking Office of CMFA 
 Types of China-Related Incidents rel Categorized into China's domestic behavioral incidents and China's international behavioral incidents Recorded materials of the Regular Press Conference of the Speaking Office of CMFA 
 Organizational Attitudes att Organizational stances on incidents are categorized as positive and negative Recorded materials of the Regular Press Conference of the Speaking Office of CMFA 

It should be noted that we adopt Bailey's approach [29] to reflect the political preferences of each States by using the latest States’ Ideal Points Data (IPD) calculated based on the voting data of the UN General Assembly, and measure the bilateral political relation by the absolute value of the IPD's difference.

The scores for bilateral political relation, bilateral economic relation and bilateral humanistic relation are derived from the equal weight method based on their sub-indicators. Before that, the data should first be standardized to eliminate the problem of incomparability caused by different scales. Based on the Min-Max Standardization Method, we carry out the Modified Min-Max Standardization. The standardization function is as follows:

xi=1|xxpointed valuemax-min|

xi is the standardized value of State i in a sub-indicator, the higher the value, the better the bilateral relationship. x is the actual sample value, max and min represent the maximum and minimum values of the sample data for all years of the vary sub-indicator. xpointed value is the intimate convergence of this sub-indicator, the closer the data of a certain State is to the pointed value, the better the bilateral relationship is, and the higher the score is. Therefore, each sub-indicator needs to make a convergence judgment first, and select the appropriate pointed value. Further, the pointed value of bilateral political position difference is the minimum value of all yearly sub-indicators for all States. The pointed values of other six subindicators, namely, the length of diplomatic relation, the length of BIT, the length of DTA, trade dependence, the number of Confucius Institutes, and the length of mutual visa exemptions, are the maximum values of all yearly sub-indicators for all States.

Finally, the overall bilateral relationship scores of the 193 countries in 2018-2022 are derived from their sub-indicators weighted equally and converted to percentages. China's relationship scores with IOs are derived from the average of the member States’ relations scores with China in that year. Taking China's relationship with the WTO in 2022 as an example, the average value of China's political relationship score with its 165 member States is 71.72, the average value of its economic relationship score is 32.29, and the average value of its humanistic relationship score is 10.48, which is taken as the score of China's relationship with the WTO accordingly.

Calculating the relation scores between China and the 30 lOs in the sample according to the above rules, we take the sum of the scores of political relation, economic relation and humanistic relation as the general relation score, and the relation score between China and lOs in 2022 are shown in Table 3. It can be observed that among the international organizations in the sample, AIPU has the closest political relation with China, and APEC shows the closest economic relation. In contrast, NATO shows poorer political relation with China, and AU shows more alienated economic and humanistic relations. In predicting the attitude tendency of IOs towards China-related incidents, we hope that subsequent empirical studies will give us an answer as to which of the above three types of relations has a more significant impact and has a greater marginal benefit in deepening international interaction.

Table 3.

Relation Score between China and Sample IOs in 2022.

International OrganizationTypePolitical relationEconomic relationHumanistic relation
AIPU POLITICAl 77.39 31.27 6.41 
APEC ECONOMY 73.06 50.53 15.03 
AU POLITICAl 78.08 18.25 5.82 
ESCAP ECONOMY 69.43 38.10 14.27 
EU POLITICAl 66.39 45.37 12.84 
FAO ECONOMY 69.63 30.83 10.28 
GCC ECONOMY 72.47 46.25 3.48 
IAEA POLITICAl 70.24 32.60 10.74 
ICAO ECONOMY 69.91 31.12 10.44 
IFRC SOCIAl 69.75 30.92 10.30 
ILO ECOLOGY 70.13 31.47 10.40 
IMF ECONOMY 69.69 31.32 10.31 
IMO ECONOMY 69.68 32.15 10.63 
IOC CULTURE 69.71 30.90 10.25 
IUCN ECOLOGY 71.17 32.79 11.16 
NATO POLITICAl 62.62 47.65 15.88 
OECD ECONOMY 64.99 47.21 12.64 
OHCHR SOCIAl 70.15 34.46 13.45 
OPCW POLITICAl 69.39 30.55 10.04 
UNDP CULTURE 70.08 31.06 10.30 
UNEP ECOLOGY 70.08 31.06 10.30 
UNESCO CULTURE 70.08 31.06 10.30 
UNHCR SOCIAl 70.08 31.06 10.30 
UNICEF SOCIAl 71.79 30.16 10.54 
UNIDO ECONOMY 71.79 30.16 10.54 
WBG ECONOMY 69.56 31.02 10.18 
WFP SOCIAl 70.08 31.06 10.30 
WHO SOCIAl 70.87 30.23 10.38 
WIPO CULTURE 70.08 31.06 10.30 
WTO ECONOMY 71.72 32.29 10.48 
International OrganizationTypePolitical relationEconomic relationHumanistic relation
AIPU POLITICAl 77.39 31.27 6.41 
APEC ECONOMY 73.06 50.53 15.03 
AU POLITICAl 78.08 18.25 5.82 
ESCAP ECONOMY 69.43 38.10 14.27 
EU POLITICAl 66.39 45.37 12.84 
FAO ECONOMY 69.63 30.83 10.28 
GCC ECONOMY 72.47 46.25 3.48 
IAEA POLITICAl 70.24 32.60 10.74 
ICAO ECONOMY 69.91 31.12 10.44 
IFRC SOCIAl 69.75 30.92 10.30 
ILO ECOLOGY 70.13 31.47 10.40 
IMF ECONOMY 69.69 31.32 10.31 
IMO ECONOMY 69.68 32.15 10.63 
IOC CULTURE 69.71 30.90 10.25 
IUCN ECOLOGY 71.17 32.79 11.16 
NATO POLITICAl 62.62 47.65 15.88 
OECD ECONOMY 64.99 47.21 12.64 
OHCHR SOCIAl 70.15 34.46 13.45 
OPCW POLITICAl 69.39 30.55 10.04 
UNDP CULTURE 70.08 31.06 10.30 
UNEP ECOLOGY 70.08 31.06 10.30 
UNESCO CULTURE 70.08 31.06 10.30 
UNHCR SOCIAl 70.08 31.06 10.30 
UNICEF SOCIAl 71.79 30.16 10.54 
UNIDO ECONOMY 71.79 30.16 10.54 
WBG ECONOMY 69.56 31.02 10.18 
WFP SOCIAl 70.08 31.06 10.30 
WHO SOCIAl 70.87 30.23 10.38 
WIPO CULTURE 70.08 31.06 10.30 
WTO ECONOMY 71.72 32.29 10.48 

The changing trend of the average score of China's relations with each type of lOs is shown in Figure 2. Obviously, there is a clear upward trend in political relation, economic relation and humanistic relation between China and different IOs in 2018–2022. This indicates that the degree of China's connection with the world has been deepening during the study period. The changing trend of the average score of China's relations with each type of IOs is shown in Figure 1. Obviously, there is a clear upward trend in political relation, economic relation and humanistic relation between China and different IOs in 2018–2022. This indicates that the degree of China's connection with the world has been deepening during the study period. However, at the same time, different types of IOs have different performance in their relation with China. Political IOs have the highest scores in political relations with China, economic IOs have the highest scores in economic relation, social IOs have the highest scores in humanistic relation, ecological IOs have the middle scores. However, the political, economic and humanistic relations score between humanistic IOs and China are all relatively low.

Figure 1.

Schematic of testing hypotheses of the influence mechanism of IOs’ stance towards China.

Figure 1.

Schematic of testing hypotheses of the influence mechanism of IOs’ stance towards China.

Close modal
Figure 2.

Changes in relations between China and different types of IOs.

Figure 2.

Changes in relations between China and different types of IOs.

Close modal

5.1 Benchmark regression tests

In order to achieve a better fit of the model to the data of preferential stance incidents, we treat its parameters as random variables and estimate them using Bayesian method, and then analyze the influence of different factors on the preferential stance of IOs towards China. Since the posterior form of the parameters under the normal prior is complicated and it is quite difficult to compute high-dimensional integrals to find the analytical solution, we applied STATA to invoke the Monte Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC) algorithm to obtain the approximate posterior distributions of the samples by using Gibbs sampling with 12,500 iterations. The length of the Markov chain was monitored using the Raftery-Lewis diagnostic, and after the model reached convergence after 2500 iterations, the first 2500 iterations of the Markov chain were discarded as model pre-iterations to ensure that the MCMC algorithm could provide a reasonable approximation of the parameter posterior distributions. In addition, the model utilizes the Odd Ratio (OR) value to evaluate the influence of different values of variables on the probability of IOs' positive statement. The OR value of 1 indicates that the value of the variable serves as the baseline value, and when OR >1 (OR OR <1), it indicates that the other values of the variable have a greater (lesser) influence on the output results. In the process of estimating the parameters, due to the fact that it is difficult to make reliable parameter estimation with fewer samples under some values, such as cultural IOs group, IOs established for more than 105 years group, etc., the relevant dependent values are excluded, and the parameter calibrations of the BLMs are obtained as shown in Table 4.

Table 4.

Parameter Calibration of Bayesian Logit Model.

Dependent Variable: Organizational Attitudes
Independent VariableValueParameter Calibration (Standard Error)95% BCIORP-value
Organizational Economic Benchmark 1.00 
category Social 0.679 (0.904) −1.094 2.453 1.27 0.453 
 Ecological −2.999 (1.125) -5.304 - 0.794 0.02 0.008 
 Political -4.145 (1.437) -6.960 - 1.329 0.04 0.004 
Length of Establishment 35 years or less Benchmark 1.00 
 35-70 years 3.381 (1.457) 0.525 6.236 149.91 0.020 
 70–105 years 0.488 (0.617) −0.722 1.698 5.30 0.429 
Functional Orientation Service Benchmark 1.00 
 Forum −1.580 (0.862) −3.270 0.109 1.82 0.067 
Political Relation Normal Benchmark 1.00 
 Good 2.767 (0.883) 1.036 4.498 10.90 0.002 
Economic Relation Normal Benchmark 1.00 
 Good −1.818 (1.342) −4.447 0.812 1.21 0.175 
 Close 4.279 (1.730) 0.888 7.671 13.28 0.013 
Humanistic Relation Normal Benchmark 1.00 
 Good 2.225 (0.744) 0.766 3.683 0.76 0.003 
Dependent Variable: Types of China-related Incidents 
Independent Variable Value Parameter Calibration (Standard Error) 95%BCI OR P-value 
Whether China is No Benchmark 1.00 
Engaged Yes −3.730 (1.734) -7.130 - 0.331 0.20 0.031 
Whether Chinese is in No Benchmark 
Charge Yes 2.238 (1.250) −0.212 4.688 46.06 0.073 
Number of Member Below 50 Benchmark 1.00 
States Above 100 3.158 (1.556) 0.108 6.209 368.87 0.042 
Dependent Variable: Organizational Attitudes
Independent VariableValueParameter Calibration (Standard Error)95% BCIORP-value
Organizational Economic Benchmark 1.00 
category Social 0.679 (0.904) −1.094 2.453 1.27 0.453 
 Ecological −2.999 (1.125) -5.304 - 0.794 0.02 0.008 
 Political -4.145 (1.437) -6.960 - 1.329 0.04 0.004 
Length of Establishment 35 years or less Benchmark 1.00 
 35-70 years 3.381 (1.457) 0.525 6.236 149.91 0.020 
 70–105 years 0.488 (0.617) −0.722 1.698 5.30 0.429 
Functional Orientation Service Benchmark 1.00 
 Forum −1.580 (0.862) −3.270 0.109 1.82 0.067 
Political Relation Normal Benchmark 1.00 
 Good 2.767 (0.883) 1.036 4.498 10.90 0.002 
Economic Relation Normal Benchmark 1.00 
 Good −1.818 (1.342) −4.447 0.812 1.21 0.175 
 Close 4.279 (1.730) 0.888 7.671 13.28 0.013 
Humanistic Relation Normal Benchmark 1.00 
 Good 2.225 (0.744) 0.766 3.683 0.76 0.003 
Dependent Variable: Types of China-related Incidents 
Independent Variable Value Parameter Calibration (Standard Error) 95%BCI OR P-value 
Whether China is No Benchmark 1.00 
Engaged Yes −3.730 (1.734) -7.130 - 0.331 0.20 0.031 
Whether Chinese is in No Benchmark 
Charge Yes 2.238 (1.250) −0.212 4.688 46.06 0.073 
Number of Member Below 50 Benchmark 1.00 
States Above 100 3.158 (1.556) 0.108 6.209 368.87 0.042 

When conducting BLM regressions, since the influencing variables are defined as unordered variables, we set the benchmark values within the different variables as economic IOs, 35 years or less of establishment, service IOs, normal political, economic and humanistic relations with China, respectively, to facilitate our discussion and analysis. Meanwhile, while conducting the parameter estimation, Bayesian method can further provide the confidence intervals of the parameters at 95% level, which can make a more accurate judgment on the direction of the factors’ effects.

As shown in Table 4, the type of IOs, the length of time they have been established, their functional orientation, and their relationship with China are all related to their tendency to take a stance on China. In addition, China's participation in the organization, its influence, and the number of member States of IOs also affect the types of China-related incidents they focus on.

Economic, social, ecological and political IOs are the different categories that diplomacy focuses on. The political and ecological IOs are more likely to be manipulated by hegemony and become the tools for countries to compete for resources and interests. Therefore, compared with economic and social IOs, political and ecological IOs are significantly more likely to make negative statements on China-related incidents, which is also verified by the fact that their regression parameters are significantly less than zero. Besides, the p-value of 0.453 (>0.1) for social IOs with a positive stance is not significant compared to economic IOs, indicating that there is no significant difference in positive stance probability between economic IOs and social IOs towards China.

It is true that lOs with different lengths of establishment may differ in their stance expressions, but this effect is not linear and monotonous. We suggest that the reason for this phenomenon is related to the development and changes in the international situation. In the last 35 years, the pressure of war in the world was low, and countries paid more attention to their own economic development to gain a competitive advantage. IOs established in this period are tend to strengthen exchanges and cooperation among some countries and construct regional barriers, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the African Union (AU), and the European Union (EU) and so on. But the length of establishment between 35-70 years of IOs, which was born shortly after the end of the World War II. At that time, the countries hope to quickly recover domestic economy from stagnation or even regression due to the war. Therefore, IOs in this period are inclined to support the development of countries, such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and so on. Unlike IOs established in the last 35 years, this period's IOs aim to help countries develop in a universal way, which is in line with China's concept of Community of Human Destinies in international communication, and therefore they are significantly inclined to make positive statements towards China (P = 0.020 <0.1). However, as for earlier IOs that were born during the war period when the international situation was in turmoil, the style of small yard with high fences is more common, and their attitudes towards China are not significantly different from those of the IOs established in recent years (P = 0.429 >0.1).

According to the different rules of operation, IOs can be divided into two types of functional orientation, namely, forum-type and service-type. Forum-type IOs, as the name suggests, mainly exist in the role as intergovernmental forums, and such organizations often have two characteristics. First, most of the outputs of the organizations are soft-binding results, such as declarations, statements, joint communiques, and so on. Second, for small-scale forum-type IOs, there is a trend of monopolization [30], which has become a tool for interstate competition for competitive resources. By contrast, there are service-type IOs, which function as service providers, and they often play the role of international public goods, such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and so on. In the model, it can be seen that the probability of a forum-type international organization taking a positive stance towards China is significantly lower compared to the service-type (P = 0.067 <0.1).

Within the three dimensions of political relation, economic relation and humanistic relation, the improvement of political and humanistic relations can better increase the probability of IOs making a positive statement towards China. First, all improvement of three relations can significantly promote positive statements, with p-values of 0.002, 0.013, and 0.003, respectively. Second, compared with normal relations, both good political relation and good humanistic relation have significant improvement effects, and their impact forces are similar, with regression coefficients of 2.767 and 2.225, respectively. Third, good economic relation is not significant. The effect of economic relation will be significantly improved only when it is deepened to close stage. Moreover, from the OR values, it can be found that political relation and humanistic relation develop from normal to good, with the former having a greater influence on the organizational stance. Thus, it is clear that in terms of obtaining international discourse power, the marginal gains from investing in improving political relation, humanistic relation, and economic relation are in decreasing order.

Regarding to the types of China-related incidents, it can be concluded from the model that IOs without China's participation (P = 0.031 <0.1), with Chinese involved in the management (P = 0.073 <0.1) or with more than 100 member States (P = 0.042 <0.1) are usually more concerned with China's interactions with the world, i.e., China's international behavioral incidents such as epidemic prevention and control, trade wars, and so on.

5.2 Convergence analysis of Markov chain for parameter estimation

The partial parameter estimation plots of BLMs are shown in Fig. 2. The convergence of the Markov chain can be observed from the trace plot, histogram, autocorrelation plot, and probability density distribution plot of the parameter estimation. The results of the parameter estimation are robust only when the Markov chain tends to be converged.

The trace plot of the parameter estimation is graphed for the generated samples in response to the number of iterations, and is able to reflect the sample path that generated the Markov chain. In the parameter estimation trace plots shown, it can be found that as the number of iterations increases, the path is basically able to show stability, and there is no obvious cycle and trend appearing, so it is considered that the path tends to converge.

The histograms of the parameter estimates clearly show that the length of IO's establishment and the development of political relation have the greatest likelihoods to increase the probability of IO's positive stance towards China, while economic and humanistic relations have the greater likelihoods.

The acceptance rate of BLM (1) is 0.556 and BLM (2) is 0.549, so there will be some extent of autocorrelation in the sequence of parameter estimation. According to the autocorrelation plot of the parameter estimation, it can be found that the autocorrelation decreases with the increase of the iteration times, so it is considered that the Markov chain is tending to converge.

Finally, according to the probability density distribution plots, it can be found that although the differences in the sub-sample density distribution curves of some parameters are a little bit obvious, their averages basically remain at the same level. So the results of the parameter estimation are considered to be robust.

5.3 ROC test for attitude prediction model

In order to test the fit of BLM to the sample data, and to measure the accuracy of the model in analyzing and predicting the attitude tendency towards China, the constructed BLM needs to be tested. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve can be used to visualize the relationship between the model sensitivity and the characteristics, so as to determine the model fit, so the ROC curve is used to test the model. the area of the graph composed of the ROC curve and the X-axis, (1, 0) and (1, 1) is expressed as SAUC (area under curve) value, the value range is 0 to 1. AUC can intuitively evaluate the classifier is good or bad, the larger its value, the better classifier is. As the SAUC value gets closer to 1, the model fits more accurately.

The ROC analysis curve for the BLM with dependent variable being organizational attitudes is shown in Figure 4. The horizontal axis represents the false positive rate, also known as 1-specificity, which represents the proportion of instances predicted by the classifier to be positive but actually should be negative to all negative instances. The vertical axis represents the true positive rate, also known as sensitivity, which represents the proportion of instances predicted by the classifier to be positive and actually are positive to all positive instances. It can be seen that the larger the SAUC is, the more accurate the judgment of the classifier is. The ROC curve of attitude prediction shows that its SAUC value is 0.8756 close to 1, which indicates that the established BLM fits well.

Figure 3.

Estimation of parameters of BLMs.

Figure 3.

Estimation of parameters of BLMs.

Close modal
Figure 4.

ROC analysis of Bayesian Logit Model.

Figure 4.

ROC analysis of Bayesian Logit Model.

Close modal

6.1 Empirical Research Findings on Bayesian Logit Model

Combined with the results of BLM empirical testing, we have four research findings in this paper.

First, hypothesis 1 is valid. The type of IO directly reflects the issues that the organization focuses on. There is no significant difference in the probability of economic and social issues being criticized, but political and ecological issues give China a greater probability of being negatively evaluated by lOs. In addition, the data in recent years are less likely to address IOs’ stance on China's cultural issues, but in fact China's cultural issues have been controversial on several occasions, such as Dior's plagiarism on Chinese Mamianqun. Since the data source is based on the response information from CMFA, this reflects, on the one hand, the lower influence of cultural IOs on States and, on the other hand, the fact that the Chinese government ranks the importance of cultural conflicts as a relatively low priority.

Second, hypothesis 2 is invalid. Although there is a significant difference in the IOs’ stance with different founding years, the correlation between the two is low. The reason for this difference is that IOs founded in different periods were influenced by the concepts of international communication at that time. They have different participation styles in international affairs, and therefore their willingness to make a positive stance would be different. IOs founded between the 1950s and the 1980s, with the goal of helping countries to develop in an inclusive manner and upholding multilateralism, are in line with China's concept of Community of Human Destinies, and are therefore inclined to make a positive statement towards China.

Third, hypotheses 3 and 4 are valid. In the predictive model of IOs’ attitude, the functional orientation and its relationship with States are two effective influencing factors. After differentiating the political, economic, and humanistic relations between the two, it can be found that although the influence direction of the three relations is the same, there are differences in the influence degree. Improvement of political relation has the highest marginal gain in obtaining a positive stance from IOs, followed by humanistic relation, and economic relation can only significantly change the attitudinal tendency of IOs if it has been improved sufficiently.

Fourth, in determining whether IOs will focus on China's domestic or international behavioral incidents, Hypothesis 5 is invalid and Hypothesis 6 is valid. China's participation in IOs is measured by the following indicators: whether or not China is a member and whether or not there is a Chinese leader in the organization. Consistent with expectations, having Chinese-born leaders does lead IOs to focus more attention on China's international behavior, and IOs with more member states are also more biased towards focusing on that. Contrary to expectations, however, simply joining an international organization does not take the organization's gaze away from China's domestic actions, but instead makes it more curious about such events. This result leads us to reflect that encouraging membership in many IOs may not be an advantageous decision for China, which hopes that the gaze of IOs will be more focused on international rather than domestic behavior.

6.2 Incident type differences and period differences in attitude prediction

We further analyze the factors that have an impact on the expression of organizational attitudes discussed in the above benchmark regression model. On the one hand, the samples are classified according to the different types of China-related incidents to discuss the impact of the functional orientation and category on organizational attitudes. On the other hand, 2018-2022 is classified into peace period and crisis period by quarter according to the United Nations’ Uncertainty Index, to discuss the differences in the impact of relations on organizational attitudes under different periods.

Although overall both functional orientation and organizational category have significant effects on the organizational attitude towards China, this effect manifests itself differently in different types of China-related incidents. As shown in Table 5, in terms of incidents focusing on China's domestic behavior, forum-type IOs are significantly more inclined to give positive evaluations than service-type IOs (regression coefficient of 5.067 >0). However, when it comes to incidents focusing on China's interaction with the world, forum-type IOs are significantly less inclined to give positive comments (regression coefficient of −3.089 <0). This difference is mainly due to the fact that forum-type IOs are often established for the common international interests of some countries and do not interfere too much in the domestic affairs of a certain country. Therefore, service-type IOs are often used for private use and become a tool for certain countries to realize their long-arm jurisdiction, for example, in Xinjiang Human Rights Incident, many service-type IOs such as the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) participated in the incident and did not give their support to China. In addition, although there is a significant difference in the probability of positive statements by different organizational categories, this difference is even greater in the case of incidents that focus on China's domestic behavior. It is partly a reflection of the instrumentality of IOs in the Western discourse system, but also a reflection of China's domestic values being less widely adopted in the international arena than the concept of community of human destiny in international affairs. There is no consensus abroad on China's domestic values.

Table 5.

Parameter Calibration for Heterogeneity Analysis.

Dependent Variable: Organizational Attitudes
Independent VariableDependent Variable Regression Results95%BICOR
rel = 0rel = 1rel = 0rel = 1rel = 0rel = 1
Functional Orientation 5.067** (2.462) −3.089** (1.245) 0.240 9.893 −5.530 −0.649 1.15E+11 0.05 
Organizational category −2.344*** (0.790) −0.502* (0.295) −3.893 −0.795 −1.080 0.077 0.06 0.36 
Independent Variable Dependent Variable Regression Results 95%BIC OR 
sit = 0 sit = 1 sit= 0 sit = 1 sit = 0 sit = 1 
Political Relation 3.510*** (0.926) 0.333 (1.147) 1.695 5.325 −1.916 2.582 37.33 0.71 
Economic Relation 1.272* (0.771) −1.601 (0.997) −0.240 2.784 −3.556 0.354 2.54 0.03 
Humanistic Relation 1.510** (0.749) 1.018 (0.785) 0.037 2.973 −0.521 2.558 5513.80 5.16e+13 
Dependent Variable: Organizational Attitudes
Independent VariableDependent Variable Regression Results95%BICOR
rel = 0rel = 1rel = 0rel = 1rel = 0rel = 1
Functional Orientation 5.067** (2.462) −3.089** (1.245) 0.240 9.893 −5.530 −0.649 1.15E+11 0.05 
Organizational category −2.344*** (0.790) −0.502* (0.295) −3.893 −0.795 −1.080 0.077 0.06 0.36 
Independent Variable Dependent Variable Regression Results 95%BIC OR 
sit = 0 sit = 1 sit= 0 sit = 1 sit = 0 sit = 1 
Political Relation 3.510*** (0.926) 0.333 (1.147) 1.695 5.325 −1.916 2.582 37.33 0.71 
Economic Relation 1.272* (0.771) −1.601 (0.997) −0.240 2.784 −3.556 0.354 2.54 0.03 
Humanistic Relation 1.510** (0.749) 1.018 (0.785) 0.037 2.973 −0.521 2.558 5513.80 5.16e+13 

The other factors discussed in the above benchmark regression, political, economic and humanistic relations, have different impacts on IOs’ attitudes in different international situations. As we can see from Table 5, when the international situation is in a peaceful period, the improvement of these relations can significantly increase the probability of IOs making a positive statement to China. However, the above influence mechanisms become insignificant in the crisis period. This is due to when incidents triggering the international situation into the crisis period occur, many countries’ interests will be involved directly, such as UK's Brexit, US election, trade war between China and US, epidemic, and so on. At this moment, each country will have a clear stance on China-related incidents based on its own interests, rather than on the perspective of bilateral relations with China, which will in turn affect the attitudes of IOs it is involved in.

Nowadays, the global governance model with lOs as an important platform has profoundly influenced international configuration. IOs, to which countries have transferred certain rights, continue to develop, and their constraints strength and scope on sovereign States continue to increase. It has become an subject that cannot be ignored in risk measurement by countries engaged in international affairs. It is difficult for IOs to make a totally objective comment under the game of interests among member States. The following paths are helpful for China to increase the probability of IOs making positive statements on China-related incidents:

  1. Avoid getting involved in ecological and political issues, thereby reducing the space for comments on China by relevant IOs

  2. Strengthening participation in IOs that are characterized by inclusive governance, and promoting community of human destiny.

  3. Attaching importance to enhancing voice in forum-type IOs and becoming a dominant player in international order-making.

  4. Strengthening bilateral political communication with other countries, emphasizing bilateral humanistic exchanges, and changing the usual practice of only economic theory in countries’ interactions.

  5. Joining as many IOs as possible is not preferable, but joining global IOs is advantageous.

  6. Cultivating talents with international perspectives to work in IOs

Although the categories and functional orientation of IOs have different implications under different types of China-related incidents, it is certain that under the premise that China wants to be focused more on its international behavior than on its domestic issues, telling the Chinese story through service-type IOs is a good way to do so. Moreover, since different types of IOs do not show a big difference in their stance in events focusing on China's international behavior, it can be argued that the shaping image of a great power can be focused not only on the economic, social and cultural story of China, but also on the promotion of China's values in the international ecology and politics, in order to seek for more common ground. We make the following recommendations accordingly:

For one thing, based on the widely participatory, non-binding, soft-law, informal and flexible characteristics of forum-type IOs, China can enhance its relations with them by actively participating in forum activities, taking advantage of China's large market, strengthening humanistic exchanges, and so on. It is beneficial to actively participate in various forum activities, such as summits and high-level dialogues, as well as other forms of international cooperation and exchanges, which can increase China's participation and influence in the international arena. Through various channels, China should strengthen communication and coordination with forum member States, understand each other's concerns and needs, as well as joint programs to address global challenges, and promote mutual understanding and trust. Particular emphasis should be placed on strengthening humanistic exchanges with other member States, such as exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, tourism and other fields, so as to enhance mutual understanding and friendship among people.

For another, China should strengthen its human resources in IOs. It should cultivate high-quality IO talents who are familiar with the State's guidelines and policies, have a global outlook, are well versed in international rules, and are well versed in international negotiation. First, it should optimize the tracking and training of students studying abroad. Chinese university generally lacks a relatively mature tracking and investigation mechanism, and should establish a complete information integration mechanism to provide the precise training. Second, it should systematically follow up the cultivation of talents in IOs. Attaching importance to cultivating talents for IOs at the master's level, pilot master's degree programs for IOs can be constructed in some selected universities nationwide. Third, improve the policy guarantee mechanism for college students to serve as interns in IOs. Students should be encouraged to undertake internships in IOs during their school years, and scholarships for internships in IOs should be established.

Although the factors of political, economic and humanistic relations with IOs have been weakened during the crisis period, it does not mean that the enhancement of these three types of relations has lost its value in China's response to risks and challenges. What we need to realize is that IOs were not created with the goal of helping countries to survive crises in times of international turmoil, but rather their true value lies in providing a platform for consultation on matters of common interest when the international situation is peaceful. In this process, more voice power in IOs will help China to win more rights and interests when it participates in.

Zhang Qin conceptualized the main ideas of this paper and provided the structure for the reported research. Xue Haili conducted the review of the theories in this study, the selection of methodology. Wang Yaotian conducted the selection of indicators, data collection and analysis, and wrote the first draft of this study. Wang Yao participated in the incident coding work and the collation of basic information of lOs. Zhang Ziqin participated in the incident coding work and the collation of bilateral data between China and other countries. Qin Qinghua participated in the selection of variables and the analysis of the model results. Liang Haoguang was a key participant in the construction of the idea, selection of the methodology and monitoring of the work progress of this study.

All of the authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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