The world is breathing a sigh of relief knowing that our overlords have, once again, met at the Klaus Schwab's World Economic Forum virtual Davos Meeting, setting the agenda for the unwashed masses/useless eaters. One of the world's most influential leaders, Chinese President Xi Jinping, gave his special address entitled "Let the Torch of Multilateralism Light up Humanity's Way" by way of a video link, providing the world with a sense of how China views the newly minted Biden Administration. Let's look at some key excerpts.
Xi opens by outlining the four major tasks facing the people of our times, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic:
"The first is to step up macroeconomic policy coordination and jointly promote strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the world economy. We are going through the worst recession since the end of World War II. For the first time in history, the economies of all regions have been hit hard at the same time, with global industrial and supply chains clogged and trade and investment down in the doldrums. Despite the trillions of dollars in relief packages worldwide, global recovery is rather shaky and the outlook remains uncertain….We need to shift the driving forces and growth models of the global economy and improve its structure, so as to set the course for long-term, sound and steady development of the world economy.
The second is to abandon ideological prejudice and jointly follow a path of peaceful coexistence, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. No two leaves in the world are identical, and no histories, cultures or social systems are the same. Each country is unique with its own history, culture and social system, and none is superior to the other. The best criteria are whether a country’s history, culture and social system fit its particular situation, enjoy people’s support, serve to deliver political stability, social progress and better lives, and contribute to human progress….Difference in itself is no cause for alarm. What does ring the alarm is arrogance, prejudice and hatred; it is the attempt to impose hierarchy on human civilization or to force one’s own history, culture and social system upon others. The right choice is for countries to pursue peaceful coexistence based on mutual respect and on expanding common ground while shelving differences, and to promote exchanges and mutual learning. This is the way to add impetus to the progress of human civilization.
The third is to close the divide between developed and developing countries and jointly bring about growth and prosperity for all. Today, inequality continues to grow, the North-South gap remains to be bridged, and sustainable development faces severe challenges….The international community should keep its eyes on the long run, honor its commitment, and provide necessary support to developing countries and safeguard their legitimate development interests. Equal rights, equal opportunities and equal rules should be strengthened, so that all countries will benefit from the opportunities and fruits of development.
The fourth is to come together against global challenges and jointly create a better future for humanity. In the era of economic globalization, public health emergencies like COVID-19 may very well recur, and global public health governance needs to be enhanced. The Earth is our one and only home. To scale up efforts to address climate change and promote sustainable development bears on the future of humanity. No global problem can be solved by any one country alone. There must be global action, global response and global cooperation."
Xi goes on to make the following recommendations, all of which are directly aimed at the United States in one way or another:
1.) A commitment to openness and inclusiveness rather than closeness and exclusion.
2.) A commitment to international law and international rules rather than seeking one's own supremacy.
3.) A commitment to consultation and cooperation rather than conflict and confrontation.
4.) A commitment to keeping up with the times rather than rejecting change.
Xi focuses on one key issue. Under his recommendation to openness and inclusiveness, Xi makes the following statement with all bolds being mine:
"Multilateralism is about having international affairs addressed through consultation and the future of the world decided by everyone working together. To build small circles or start a new Cold War, to reject, threaten or intimidate others, to willfully impose decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions, and to create isolation or estrangement will only push the world into division and even confrontation. We cannot tackle common challenges in a divided world, and confrontation will lead us to a dead end. Humanity has learned lessons the hard way, and that history is not long gone. We must not return to the path of the past."
Under his recommendation to consultation and cooperation, he makes the following statement:
"Differences in history, culture and social system should not be an excuse for antagonism or confrontation, but rather an incentive for cooperation. We should respect and accommodate differences, avoid meddling in other countries’ internal affairs, and resolve disagreements through consultation and dialogue. History and reality have made it clear, time and again, that the misguided approach of antagonism and confrontation, be it in the form of cold war, hot war, trade war or tech war, would eventually hurt all countries’ interests and undermine everyone’s well-being.
We should reject the outdated Cold War and zero-sum game mentality, adhere to mutual respect and accommodation, and enhance political trust through strategic communication. It is important that we stick to the cooperation concept based on mutual benefit, say no to narrow-minded, selfish beggar-thy-neighbor policies, and stop unilateral practice of keeping advantages in development all to oneself. Equal rights to development should be guaranteed for all countries to promote common development and prosperity. We should advocate fair competition, like competing with each other for excellence in a racing field, not beating each other on a wrestling arena."
Xi closes by noting that China will continue to promote a new type of international relations:
"Zero-sum game or winner-takes-all is not the guiding philosophy of the Chinese people. As a staunch follower of an independent foreign policy of peace, China is working hard to bridge differences through dialogue and resolve disputes through negotiation and to pursue friendly and cooperative relations with other countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. As a steadfast member of developing countries, China will further deepen South-South cooperation, and contribute to the endeavor of developing countries to eradicate poverty, ease debt burden, and achieve more growth. China will get more actively engaged in global economic governance and push for an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all."
From Xi's keynote speech to the World Economic Forum, it is clear that China wants to implement a new geopolitical reality in the world, one where China shares in global leadership and puts an end, for once and for all, to Washington's unipolar world where a new Cold War is "knocking at the door".
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