Xi's foreign policy is no secret

Updated: 2014-05-23 07:44

By Robert Lawrence Kuhn (China Daily)

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China promotes mutually beneficial cooperation to help realize the dreams of different peoples and does not seek hegemony

Is President Xi Jinping's foreign policy really a mystery, as some foreign media seem to think? Ever since Xi became China's senior leader in November 2012, Western analysts have been trying to get the measure of the man, particularly his vision of China's international relations.

There is little doubt that Xi is China's strongest leader in a generation, and that Xi's China has enacted a more proactive foreign policy: enhancing relations with Africa, strengthening the strategic partnership of cooperation with Russia, emphasizing territorial claims in the South and East China seas, proposing the development of a Silk Road economic belt and a maritime Silk Road for the 21st century, solidifying relations with Europe, and calling for a "new kind of big power relationship" with the United States.

At the just concluded fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, Xi met with the heads of almost every Asian nation, which included a high-profile joint declaration with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the signing of a huge gas deal with Russia. Speaking with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Xi said, "Displays of power and pressure and the use of external force are not acceptable."

In his keynote address, Xi said China is a strong champion of the Asian security concept and is working to put it into practice.

While some may question China's deep intent, Xi's diplomatic philosophy is hardly a secret. It was prominent in his May 15 speech celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (underreported in global media).

Xi began by "paying tribute" to foreign friends who helped China's construction and reform, who did China "the smallest favor". (China is indeed loyal to its friends, even when they retire from power or fall from grace, like former US president Richard Nixon and former Japanese prime minister Kakuei Tanaka, both of whom re-opened relations with China.)

Xi outlined the key features of global affairs: a multipolar world, economic globalization, information society, converging interests, and community of destiny.

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