In a New Year’s speech to his country, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed that Beijing would become the arbiter of international order in the years ahead.
“As a responsible major country, China has something to say,” Xi said during his address as he sat in front of a Chinese flag and a painting of the Great Wall.
During his speech, he also reviewed China’s “great achievements” both domestically and internationally in 2017, while also noting that his country had hosted a series of diplomatic events, including the first summit of the Belt and Road Initiative, the summit of BRICS leaders in Xiamen, and various high-level dialogues between the Chinese Communist Party and the world’s political parties.
“On those various occasions, I have had an in-depth exchange of views with all parties concerned, and all of them agree to jointly promote the building of a community of shared future for mankind for the benefit of all peoples in the world,” Xi said.
The Chinese president also appeared to take a veiled swipe at President Donald Trump’s ‘American first’ policies as he voiced China’s full support for the United Nations.
“China will resolutely uphold the authority and status of the United Nations, actively fulfill China’s international obligations and duties, remain firmly committed to China’s pledges to tackle climate change, actively push for the Belt and Road Initiative, and always be a builder of world peace, contributor of global development and keeper of international order. The Chinese people are ready to chart out a more prosperous, peaceful future for humanity, with people from other countries,” he noted. [source]
(Analyst comment: It’s clear that a newly empowered Xi, who is amassing the kind of political clout unseen in decades, wants to replace the United States as the global leader. But like other world leaders, Xi may be mistaking Trump’s quasi-nationalism for global retreat. It’s far from that; Trump’s emphasis has been and will likely continue to be not on how much he can withdraw the U.S. from the global stage — which is actually what President Obama did — but rather exert U.S. influence in a manner that benefits Americans most, rather than participate in the old order whereby Washington’s influence always came with a hefty price tag and a piece of U.S. sovereignty.
Trump sees there is a difference between leading for the sake of leading and putting American interests above all others. Xi will do the same for China.)