In a virtual address at the World Economic Forum, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has warned against a bloc confrontation and economic decoupling by countries, especially those in the West.
In President Xi’s view, the world has witnessed significant changes never before seen in history.
He said today we are living “in a new period of turbulence and transformation.”
He also cautioned against forming “cliques” and stoking a “new Cold War.”
“We need to discard Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes,” said the President in his address.
Certainly, President Xi is talking a good game, but at whose expense or sacrifice?
It cannot be that China seeks to capitalize from the freedom of democratic states and a capitalist system here in the West, and there’s no quid pro quo.
There is no way President Xi would allow Western companies to operate at will in his country, yet that’s what obtains from Chinese companies in western countries and other nations.
President Xi seems to be calling for a leveling of the playing field, but on his terms and on the basis of how it impacts China.
Since China began to open up and reform its economy in 1978, its GDP growth has averaged almost 10 percent a year, and more than 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty.
There have also been significant improvements in access to health, education, and other services over the same period.
The fact is China has had an unfair advantage in global business over the years.
That said, no one should begrudge China for its progress, growth, and development because that’s what smart leaders do – seek out the interest of their people by any means necessary.
Today, President Xi has called for the dismantling of Cold War mentality on the one hand but propagating it on another.
“We need to discard Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes,” he said in his address.
And added further, “History has proved time and again that confrontation does not solve problems; it only invites catastrophic consequences.”
“Protectionism and unilateralism can protect no one; they ultimately hurt the interests of others as well as one’s own. Even worse are the practices of hegemony and bullying, which run counter to the tide of history,” Xi continued.
At this point, a man of the cloth would easily cite President Xi, Matthew 12:37 KJV “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words, thou shalt be condemned.”
How does China account for the border clashes with India and its claim of the “South China Sea” — to name two flashpoints that currently exist, where the chief protagonist is China.
President Xi also battened down further on his views of other countries rather than on his side of the pond.
“History has proved time and again that confrontation does not solve problems; it only invites catastrophic consequences, “he said.
“Protectionism and unilateralism can protect no one; they ultimately hurt the interests of others as well as one’s own. Even worse are the practices of hegemony and bullying, which run counter to the tide of history,” Xi posited.
Indeed, that perspective is right on all accounts but is President Xi prepared to abide by that credo, or is it a matter of doing what I say and want.
The fact of the matter is that countries must consider what is in their best interest in the global marketplace and how to navigate best the political space related to international relations.
That said, Beijing can’t expect the West to bend over while they enjoy the global spoils.
Is the West stupid?
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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