Xi Jinping seeks re-engagement with West; labour fire rages at home
By Manish Anand
New Delhi, November 23: Chinese President Xi Jinping sought re-engagement with the western world at the G20 and APEC Summit in his second outing from China since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. He sought to argue that the western world shouldn’t promote the idea of de-coupling, while initiating informal dialogue with the European Union.
But Xi has a fire to douse back home, as the PPE army terrorises the labour forces at the key manufacturing centres where contract manufacturers of I-Phone and other electronic devices are located. Internet is swamped by short clips of the labourers beaten by the PPE army in the factory, on the street, inside the houses and almost everywhere. The videos of the people not wearing masks properly are handcuffed and made to kneel on the street and also beaten by the PPE army.
Zero Covid Policy of XI is evidently in a disarray amid reports of the cases rising sharply, with casualties also being reported. There are reports of shutdown of cities, towns, and factories being quarantines. China being an information hiding nation has not been transparent in sharing the true extent of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. Video clips of new quarantine facilities are making rounds of the internet. This is likely to derail the bid of Xi to argue against the western world’s bid to decouple their economies from China.
Xi sought re-engagement with the US, holding a three-hour long bilateral with President Joe Biden. He afterwards caught up with the US Vice President Kamala Harris on the sidelines of the APEC Summit. He has seemingly argued hard for a re-engagement with the US being wary of the shift of the manufacturing facilities set up by the American companies in China due to the extended pandemic-induced disruptions in the East Asian giant.
During the East Asian nations’ congregation, Xi again sought to push for the greater integration and the operationalisation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) amid reports of South Kora, Japan and the ASEAN nations developing second thoughts on the back of the pandemic going out of hand in China. The western world has seen that China has been an unreliable partner in the global supply chain, which also added to the rise of inflation due to supply side constraints. Germany, the European economic giant, has been in a hurry to see China coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz rushed to Beijing to fete Xi for usurping the third term by purging the rivals in the Chinese Communist Party.
Europe and the western world would heave a sigh of relief if normalcy returns to China and Xi dilutes his hyper nationalism to deflect attention from the imploding domestic economy, for the possible easing away of the supply side constraints, which could cool the global inflation to some extent. But the labour unrest and the popular anger in China against the crackdown by the regime may warn the western leaders from rushing to Beijing and forget all the misdeeds of Xi in the last two and a half years, which include cover up of the Covid-19 breakout and rushing to Russia’s support in the war against Ukraine.