Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for more equitable management of world affairs and, in an implicit rejection of American domination, said governments should not impose rules on others.
Xi’s speech at an economic forum comes amid growing tensions with China’s neighbors and Washington over his strategic ambitions and demands for a greater role in setting trade rules and other.
Without mentioning the United States, Xi criticized “the unilateralism of individual countries” and cautioned against decoupling, a reference to fears that US-China tensions over technology and security will divide industries and markets in distinct, less productive spheres with incompatible standards.
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“International affairs should be handled by everyone through consultation,” Xi said via video link to the Boao Forum for Asia on the southern island of Hainan. “Rules made by one or more countries should not be imposed on others.”
Xi called for stronger cooperation in coronavirus vaccine research and measures to make them available to developing countries.
Xi’s comments reflected the ruling Communist Party’s desire for global influence to match China’s status as a second-largest economy and frustration over what party leaders see as US efforts to block its ambitions. .
Those sentiments were fueled by sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump that block access to U.S. processor chips and other technology for Chinese tech giant Huawei and certain other companies.
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Some of Xi’s comments contradict Beijing’s increased military activity in the South China Sea and other areas where its territorial claims conflict with those of Japan, the Philippines, India. and other countries.
“No matter how it develops, China will never seek hegemony, develop, seek spheres of influence, or engage in an arms race,” Xi said.
China’s military spending is the second largest after the United States. Beijing is developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, submarines, stealth fighters and other weapons to extend its military reach.
The annual Boao Forum, founded in 2001, is modeled on the Davos gathering of business leaders in Switzerland.
Xi cautioned against decoupling, a stance that runs counter to Beijing’s promotion of its own standards for telecommunications, high-speed rail and other areas and pressure on companies to do so. use Chinese suppliers instead of global sources, although this increases costs.
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The acceleration of a two-decade-old campaign to make China self-sufficient in technology has been declared this year as the ruling party’s top economic priority.
“Building walls and decoupling violate economic and market rules, harming others,” Xi said.
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