China: Xi Jinping vows to oppose attempts to ‘rollback globalization’

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The Central Conference on ‘Work Relating to Foreign Affairs’ was held in Beijing for two days, December 27-28.

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses Central Conference of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses Central Conference of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, December 28: The Central Conference of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing concluded on Thursday with a resolve to fight off attempts to “rollback globalization”. The conference outcome was detailed in a note of the Chinese Ministry of foreign affairs which heavily praised the centralization of the CCP under the leadership of the general secretary of the Central Committee and President Xi Jinping.

The repeated assertions of centralization in the note of the Chinese Ministry of foreign affairs may be interpreted in the backdrop of the claims in a section of the media of the purge in the Communist country after the disappearance of the former minister for foreign affairs Qin Gang and Defence Minister Li Shangfu. Besides, a number of provincial Communist leaders are reported to have been removed from the posts while they have also reportedly gone missing. This was mirrored in the 10th pointer in the achievements’ list of the conference as it stated that “we have strengthened the centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and brought about greater coordination in China’s external work”.

The Central Conference on ‘Work Relating to Foreign Affairs’ was held in Beijing for two days, December 27-28. The meeting assumed significance in the backdrop of the US and Europe increasingly building on their respective themes of ‘de-couple’ and ‘de-risk’ with respect to China which essentially mean that they want to cut down on dependence on Beijing for the supply chains as a consequence of the Covid-19 outbreak and Xi siding with Russia in the aftermath of the Ukraine War.  

The committee in its note on the outcomes of the conference asserted that “it is important to resolutely oppose the attempt to roll back globalization and abuse the concept of security, oppose all forms of unilateralism and protectionism, firmly promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, overcome the structural problems hindering the healthy development of the world economy, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.”

The import of the stress by China against “attempts to rollback globalization” could also be understood in the backdrop of the foreign direct investment in the Communist country falling off the cliff from Janury 2022 to turn net negative by July 2023.

The outcome note further elaborated “a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization is one that meets the common needs of all countries, especially the developing countries, and properly addresses the development imbalances between and within countries resulting from the global allocation of resources”.

It further underlined that amid a series of major issues and challenges facing the world today, “China calls for an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization. An equal and orderly multipolar world is one in which all countries, regardless of size, are treated as equals, hegemonism and power politics are rejected, and democracy is truly promoted in international relations”.

Even while China has sought to engage Europe and the US to counter the de-risk and de-couple narratives, a number of foreign affairs commentators have listed the pain of Beijing as trade restrictions imposed during the tenure of Donald Trump presidency is making Chinese access to the American markets restricted.

The conference in its outcome gave repetitive references to ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy’. Further, the spotlight was given on the claims of “the strategic guidance of head-of-state diplomacy”, which was credited to have played an “increasingly important and constructive role in international affairs”. 

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