WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
- Xi Jinping announced a new concept called the “global civilization initiative” that promotes mutual respect, tolerance, and equality, and positions China as its natural leader.
- China brokered an agreement to resume diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran after a series of secret meetings held in Beijing, which surprised the Biden administration.
- Xi Jinping is expected to visit Russia soon, with an aim to expand trade flows and show defiance against the US.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has introduced a new concept, the “global civilization initiative,” which he believes will form the basis of a “new type of international relations” that China is building. The initiative promotes mutual respect, tolerance, and equality, with China being its natural leader.
\Xi’s comments were made during a video call with heads of political parties from various countries, including Russia, South Africa, Nicaragua, and East Timor. He announced that “Chinese-style modernization does not follow the old path of colonial plunder or the hegemony of strong countries.”
Xi Jinping is taking a harder tack in his diplomatic efforts, as he ramps up China’s outreach with an expected visit to Russia. His comments were a clear rebuke of the United States, as he tries to counter what he sees as an American effort to contain Beijing by proposing an alternative global system that accommodates Chinese interests. Under Beijing’s leadership, he says, countries would not need to choose sides in a battle between autocracy and democracy.
China surprised the Biden administration when it brokered an agreement to resume diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran after a series of secret meetings held in Beijing. President Biden said he expected to have a call with Xi soon.
China’s latest initiative and outreach is a key part of demonstrating that the world is not dependent on the US and its allies and partners.
“China is trying to be a full-spectrum global player and demonstrate that it too can provide public goods,” said Chong Ja Ian, associate professor of political science at the National University of Singapore.
Xi Jinping is expected to have a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after visiting Russia. This comes after Xi accused the US of attempting to “contain, encircle, and suppress” China directly, which is a significant shift from past references to “some countries.”
However, China’s mediation skills may be limited, and few successes can be attributed to their short track record in conflict mediation.
Experts believe that the proposal for ending the war in Ukraine may be less about results and more about shoring up support among other countries that also feel left out of a US-dominated international system.