| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

China’s Xi calls for fairer world order as rivalry with U.S. deepens

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday for a rejection of hegemonic power structures in global governance, amid rising tensions between the United States and China over a widening range of issues including alleged human rights abuses.

Speaking at the annual Boao Forum for Asia, Xi slammed efforts by some countries to “build barriers” and “decouple”, which he said would harm others and benefit no one.

Beijing has long called for reforms of the global governance system to better reflect a more diverse range of perspectives and values from the international community, including its own, instead of those of a few major nations.

It has also repeatedly clashed with the biggest stakeholders in world governance, particularly Washington, over multiple issues from human rights to China’s economic influence over other countries.

In remarks broadcast to the forum, Xi said “the world wants justice, not hegemony.”

“A big country should look like a big country by showing that it is shouldering more responsibility,” he said.

While Xi did not identify any country in his remarks, Chinese officials have in recent times referred to U.S. “hegemony” in public criticisms of Washington’s global projection of power in geopolitics and trade.

U.S. President Joe Biden held on Friday his first face-to-face White House summit since taking office, in a meeting with Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga in which China topped the agenda.

The two leaders said they “share serious concerns” about the human rights situation in Hong Kong and China’s Xinjiang region, where Washington has said Beijing is perpetrating a genocide against Muslim Uighurs. The abuses were denied by Beijing.

In a display of economic cooperation to the exclusion of China, the U.S. president said Japan and the United States would jointly invest in areas such as artificial intelligence, 5G technology, quantum computing, genomics, and semiconductor supply chains.

As the Biden administration rallies other democratic allies to toughen up their stance on China, Beijing is seeking to bolster ties with its autocratic partners and economically dependent neighbors in Southeast Asia.

Chinese speakers at the Boao forum, Asia’s answer to Davos, also affirmed Beijing’s commitment to global free trade.

China’s trade practices were a focus of an intense tariff war between Beijing and Washington under the Trump administration, with Washington accusing Beijing of unfair subsidiaries that give Chinese companies unfair advantage abroad and forced transfers of technology and intellectual property.

“The biggest experience that China’s accession to the World Trade Organization 20 years ago is that we Chinese are not afraid of competition,” Long Yongtu, China’s former chief negotiator for the China’s WTO entry in 2001, told the forum on Monday.

  • Reuters