China eyes greater global leadership role | 2018-03-09 |

China eyes greater global leadership role

    9 March, 2018 12:00 AM printer

China eyes greater global leadership role

BEIJING: The world can only benefit as China marches toward “irresistible” national rejuvenation and assumes greater global leadership under President Xi Jinping, China’s top diplomat said Thursday as he sought to dismiss concerns about China’s rise while also underscoring its inevitability, reports AP.

From providing the most peacekeepers of any UN Security Council member to facilitating talks in world conflicts, “the China of today should play a more active role in resolving hot issues in the region and the world,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. “This is not only something we should do, but what is widely expected of us.”

Wang spoke on the fringes of China’s annual, largely ceremonial legislative session at a news conference, where he was asked whether China’s recent efforts to push for peace talks in Myanmar and between Israeli and Palestinian delegations, for instance, represented a shift in its longstanding non-interference foreign policy.

China remains committed to non-interference, Wang said, arguing that those in the West who are alarmed by China’s growing clout and overseas activity are affected by bias.

“The development and rejuvenation of China is irresistible,” Wang said. “Some people in the United States believe that China therefore wants to replace the role of the US in the international arena. This is a fundamental, strategic misjudgment.”

“China and the United States can compete without necessarily being opponents, they should more be partners,” he added, while warning that a possible trade war mulled by President Donald Trump would hurt the U.S.

“Especially in today’s globalized world, a trade war is the wrong prescription,” he said.

Wang emphasized what he called the key role played in China’s more pro-active foreign policy by President Xi Jinping, who is likely to remain leader indefinitely after the legislature lifts presidential term limits.

“Since 2012, President Xi Jinping has been the chief architect of China’s major-country diplomacy. He was personally involved in the planning and conduct of head of state diplomacy, which by world acclaim has been brilliant,” Wang said.

Xi has visited 57 countries and received more than 110 foreign heads of state, Wang said, citing Xi’s “leadership and charisma.”

Wang called on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an eight-nation group dominated by China and Russia, to play a greater role in international diplomacy, saying it has a “bounden duty to maintain peace and stability in our region and beyond.”

China will host the SCO summit in the port of Qingdao in June.

The group also includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan, and China has sought to use it to ensure security along its Central Asian border, for example, by holding joint anti-terrorism exercises.