Globe-trotting Xi aims to boost links

Updated: 2016-02-25 08:22

By Zhang Yunbi(China Daily)

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China will stage its largest annual political event - the "two sessions" - starting on March 3. China Daily takes a close look at a series of hot topics and catchphrases for the sessions.

Today's catchphrase - Community of Common Destiny: President Xi Jinping explained the concept of the Community of Common Destiny to the outside world for the first time in March 2013 when he addressed the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He said mankind "has increasingly emerged as a community of common destiny in which everyone has in himself a little bit of others". Since then, the concept has evolved to cover China's outlook on its bilateral ties with countries such as Pakistan and its relations with regions such as Asia and Africa.

The president has traveled to 40-plus countries since taking office, seeking to dovetail strategies

In the three years that President Xi Jinping has been in office, he has traveled the globe to win support for China's new solutions, initiatives and strategies.

Globe-trotting Xi aims to boost links

He has visited more than 40 countries on 20 trips during this time to outline new concepts proposed by the country, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Silk Road Fund and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Observers said the country's leadership and its diplomats are trying to help China and its friends to achieve greater impetus for growth and to improve global governance.

China started to reinforce diplomatic efforts soon after Xi proposed co-building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road when visiting Kazakhstan and Indonesia in 2013.

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives, which are aimed at improving cooperation with countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

In 2014, during his trips abroad, Xi called for development strategies to be linked with countries such as Mongolia, and this trend has been increasing, according to news releases and speeches.

In May last year, China and Russia released a joint statement to help dovetail the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasia Economic Union initiative, led by Russia. The EEU, established at the start of last year, is an economic union of states located primarily in northern Eurasia.

Such efforts were promoted further during Xi's trip to the Middle East in January.

Addressing the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo on Jan 22, he mentioned the word "links" three times during his speech, calling for better efforts to dovetail production capacity and think tanks between China and Arab countries.

On Dec 22, Foreign Minister Wang Yi used the word "links" 15 times when delivering a speech on China's diplomatic efforts at a think tank seminar in Beijing.

He said China would make more intensive efforts to link strategies with various countries this year, including those in South Asia.

Wu Bingbing, a professor of Middle East studies at Peking University, said such efforts by China show that the country is flexible and is viewing the issue not solely on an economic front, but also culturally.

The desire to match shared interests lies behind the efforts to link different strategies, Wu said.

He said Xi's diplomatic drive had taken time to cover all the major regions because China was taking a responsible and prudent approach that required observation and thought, behind which lay "great sincerity".

Guo Yanjun, deputy director of the Institute of Asian Studies at China Foreign Affairs University, said Xi's desire to link strategies showed that China was not acting solely in its own interests but for common development with all countries.

China's calls to build the Community of Common Destiny were aimed at showing that a shift in power on the global stage could be achieved peacefully, Guo said.

Globe-trotting Xi aims to boost links

(China Daily 02/25/2016 page3)