Xi portrays China as global leader as Trump era looms … China will build a “new model” of relations with the United States, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday in a speech that portrayed China as the leader of a globalized world where only international cooperation could solve the big problems. -Reuters
With Trump focusing on domestic problems, China is stepping up to become an international moderator and consensus builder.
“Trade protectionism and self-isolation will benefit no one,” Xi told the United Nations in Geneva. “Big countries should treat smaller countries as equals instead of acting as a hegemon imposing their will on others.”
During his speech, Xi made an extraordinarily bold proposal, saying the world should unite on a variety of major issues supposedly tearing governments apart today, “everything from environmental protection to terrorism and nuclear disarmament.”
“We will build a circle of friends across the whole world,” Xi said. “We will strive to build new model of major country relations with the United States, a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia, a partnership for peace, growth, reform and among different civilizations and a partnership of unity and cooperation with BRICS countries.”
We have discussed how it seemed to us the BRICs were being set up as an adversarial power block to the West. But now China is going beyond the BRICs. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reportedly told Xi it was “very reassuring to see China assuming such a clear leadership in multilateralism in today’s world.”
Of course China’s perspective has been contradicted by some, including civil rights campaigners who have made negative statements about China’s record. Western governments have complained about China’s domestic problems under Xi.
Others say that China’s plans to expand its presence greatly in the South China sea is just more evidence of China’s ongoing aggression. China denies this.
Xi has said reportedly, “We always put people’s rights and interests above everything else and we have worked hard to develop and uphold human rights. China will never seek expansion, hegemony or sphere of influence.”
But this is surely contradicted by what Xi is doing. According to Reuters, his state media has announce that law enforcement and judicial officials in China “must be absolutely loyal to the ruling Communist Party.”
China’s domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang has been incarcerated for life over bribes and other abuses of power. Zhou once was in charge of China’s formidable domestic security forces. He is held up as an example of what will happen to those who don’t make sure they are honest and respectful.
A just released party statement said those who work in these areas should have “clear political beliefs, high professionalism, commitment and discipline.” Training courses will help guarantee party loyalty, the document said, along with strict supervision of abuse of power.
Generally, President Xi Jinping has made many moves to shore up and expand his power since taking office. One can look on this as coincidence or as part of a larger pattern, as we do.
It seems to us there may be a strategy pursed to substitute China for the West as the world’s dominant power. This is being done purposefully in conjunction with Trump moving in the other direction and concentrating on domestic issues.
To some degree it is just a matter emphasis. But no two men should have so much power along with the ability to wield it. Nor, at the very top, should they actually be working together, as they apparently are.
Conclusion: One can claim their moves are not rehearsed. But Xi’s recent presence at Davos and Trump’s lack of interest are just more reasons to suspect there is more coordination between the two than is ordinarily reported.
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