China wants to play a lead role in the world’s affairs, Chinese President Xi Jinping has told the leaders of China’s Communist Party.
China must “uphold the protection of the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests, proactively participate in and show the way in reform of the global governance system, creating an even better web of global partnership relationships,” Xi said, according to a foreign ministry statement, Yahoo reported Saturday.
China has been increasing its influence in multi-national organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and United Nations. Its increasing global footprint comes at a time when President Donald Trump is re-evaluating American participation in alliances Trump has said do not profit Americans.
Xi, who has led China since 2012, told a gathering of Community Party leaders that China must strengthen its relations with developing nations, which he dubbed China’s natural allies, Reuters reported.
“We have kept a firm hold of the development trend of China and the world in the new era since the 18th CPC National Congress and made a series of important innovations on external work in theories and practices, thus forming the thought on diplomacy of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era,” said Xi, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.
“We should thoroughly implement the thought on diplomacy of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, continuously facilitate a favorable external environment for realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for humanity,” he added.
Although Xi spoke of a “new style” of international relations to implement a “win-win” concept of “mutual benefit,” he did not address the growing conflict in the South China Sea, in which China’s expansion is being resisted by other nations with claims to the area.
The conflict will be address by Defense Secretary James Mattis in an upcoming trip to China, according to U.S. News and World Report.
“There are consequences that will continue to come home to roost, so to speak, with China, if they don’t find a way to work more collaboratively with all of the nations who have interests,” Mattis has said, criticizing China’s “intimidation and coercion.”
On Thursday, Xi told foreign investors that China would not target U.S. firms investing in China as part of China’s response to threats made by Trump in his efforts to alter the dynamics of the China-U.S. trade imbalance, the South China Morning Post reported.
Trump has steered a zig-zagging course with China, supporting it here and attacking its trade practices there. The result, said one expert, is that China does not know how to respond, Politico reported.
In fact, Gao Feng, spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, called the U.S. “capricious” on Friday
“They’re absolutely confused,” Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said of the Chinese.
However, Trump administration officials have said what they want is very clear: a level playing field.
“If they thought that they could buy us off with a few extra products sold and allow them to continue to steal our intellectual property and crown jewels, that was a miscalculation,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Thursday. “We hope going forward, there is no more miscalculation.”
Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s chief negotiator, has said his goal is not to “change the Chinese system.”
“If they want to do it, that’s fine, but I have to be in a position where the United States can deal with it, where the United States isn’t a victim of it,” he said.
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