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What does President Xi think ?

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Islamabad (Imran Y. CHOUDHRY) :- Former Press Secretary to the President, Former Press Minister to the Embassy of Pakistan to France, Former MD, SRBC Mr. Qamar Bashir analysis :
My finger, amidst the frantic scrolling on YouTube, paused on a video featuring President Xi Jinping addressing a welcome dinner held in his honor by Friendly Organizations in the United States on November 17, 2023. I opted to listen in, curious about the thoughts behind his calm and composed demeanor, even in the face of the colossal looming crisis on national, regional, and international scales. I’ve long wondered about the genesis of the One Belt and Road concept and the philosophical underpinnings guiding his approach toward the United States. How does he navigate China’s role on the global stage? Are there expansionist designs at play behind China’s extensive investments in roads, railways, ports, and renewable energy systems? Is he characterized by humility, aggression, a people-centric approach, or a more authoritarian stance?
I’ve tirelessly sought answers to these questions from various news sources and perspectives, yet the complete portrait of President Xi Jinping’s mindset eluded me. It wasn’t until I watched and absorbed his entire speech at the event in San Francisco that the pieces started to come together.
In his speech, President Xi Jinping exuded humility and a grounded demeanor, devoid of any hint of arrogance, indecency, dominance, or aggressive posturing. He eloquently distanced himself and China from any confrontational stance toward the USA or any other nation. He unequivocally stated that in their pursuit of modernization, neither he nor China would resort to historical patterns of war, colonization, exploitation, or coercion.
In a stark departure from the perceived arrogance and inflexibility of counterparts like Mr. Joe Biden of the USA, President Xi passionately affirmed that under his leadership, China is dedicated to, and will persist in, the pursuit of peaceful development, fostering mutually beneficial cooperation, and striving for common prosperity.
His impactful speech steered clear of the complex US-China relationship’s thorns, opting not to highlight differences or conflicts. Instead, it anchored deeply in shared goals and prosperity, painting a picture of a win-win scenario where neither side emerges as a victor or loser. President Xi emphasized a collective pursuit of shared objectives and dreams, aiming to enhance the happiness and prosperity of both nations’ populations.
To underscore the depth of connection, he highlighted the profound economic interdependence: the staggering USD 760 billion in annual bilateral trade and over USD 260 billion in two-way investments. Additionally, he mentioned the extensive network of 284 pairs of sister provinces/states and sister cities, along with the remarkable statistics of over 300 scheduled flights per week and more than five million travelers yearly during peak times. These extraordinary achievements, President Xi emphasized, were a collaborative effort between both nations, representing nearly a quarter of the global population.
During his deep reflection on the history of Sino-US relations, President Xi Jinping highlighted the foundational role played by the people of both nations. He recounted a pivotal moment during World War II when both countries stood shoulder to shoulder for peace and justice. The US Flying Tigers, led by General Claire Lee Chennault, fought alongside their Chinese counterparts against Japanese aggressors. Their joint efforts included the establishment of “The Hump” airlift, a critical supply route to China, where more than 1,000 Chinese and American airmen lost their lives.
In a stark departure from the usual rhetoric, President Xi Jinping humbly refrained from positioning China on equal footing with the USA during his speech. Instead, he modestly referred to China as a developing country while acknowledging the USA as the largest developed nation. He expressed hope that amidst a world of constant change and turmoil, both nations would navigate their relationship adeptly. President Xi emphasized the importance of their roles in fostering connections, enhancing people-to-people interactions, dismantling barriers, and fostering trade and commerce to ensure mutual prosperity for the citizens of both great nations.
With enthusiasm, he announced collaborative measures agreed upon with his US counterpart to facilitate travel and promote people-to-people exchanges. These measures included plans to increase direct passenger flights, conduct high-level dialogues on tourism, and streamline visa application procedures. This commitment aimed to strengthen the bond between the two countries, fostering greater understanding and collaboration for the benefit of both populations.
In a demonstration of empathy, he announced the establishment of a working group on counternarcotics to further deepen cooperation, particularly in addressing drug abuse in the United States. Additionally, President Xi committed to hosting over 50,000 young Americans in exchange and study programs in China over the next five years, fostering greater cross-cultural understanding.
In a gesture of goodwill, he offered to repatriate two pandas which arrived in China after their mandatory stay in the USA, back to the USA, a move that resonated deeply with the people of San Francisco, showcasing the spirit of goodwill and diplomatic gestures between the two nations.
President Xi Jinping firmly rejected the idea of China posing a threat and advocated against a zero-sum mindset. He emphasized China’s stance: not betting against any country, avoiding interference in internal affairs, and harboring no intentions to challenge or supplant the U.S. or any other country. Instead, Likewise, he urged the other countries to refrain from betting against China or meddling in its internal matters, fostering a welcoming environment for a peaceful, stable, and prosperous China
To my surprise, with remarkable humility, President Xi expressed that China doesn’t possess, require, nor intend to create its own exclusive set of rules for international engagements. Instead, China remains steadfast in upholding the international system with the United Nations at its core, maintaining the international order rooted in international law, and adhering to the fundamental norms governing international relations based on the principles outlined in the U.N. Charter.
President Xi Jinping’s response during his speech addressed a crucial question: whether he’s a dictator. He rooted his reply in history, emphasizing that China’s path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is guided by the theory of scientific socialism and deeply entrenched in the 5,000-year-old tradition of Chinese civilization. He stressed that this path reflects the choices of the Chinese people, grounded in universal human values.
In alignment with this broad approach to global development, he emphasized the promotion of dialogue and cooperation across various sectors and expanding the scope of collaboration to encompass diplomacy, trade and economy, people-to-people exchanges, education, science and technology, agriculture, military, law enforcement, and artificial intelligence. President Xi emphasized the intention to broaden the cooperation spectrum and enlarge the opportunities for collaboration with all countries of the world.
President Xi Jinping firmly declared China’s dedication to dialogue over confrontation and emphasized the building of partnerships rather than forming alliances. China will persist in its mutually beneficial approach to opening up and stressed that their pursuit of modernization isn’t solely for their own benefit; it’s a global endeavor. President Xi expressed China’s readiness to collaborate with all nations to advance global modernization efforts.
President Xi Jinping’s response to the multifaceted question about China’s vast investments in initiatives like the Belt and Road, Global Development, Global Security, and Global Civilization was incredibly inclusive. He expressed China’s openness to engagement with all countries, including the United States, and a willingness to participate in U.S.-proposed multilateral cooperation initiatives.
President Xi Jinping, with humility and determination, outlined China’s ambitious vision for modernization, acknowledging the immense challenge of uplifting a staggering population of 1.4 billion. He emphasized China’s dual identity as both a massive economy and market, presenting the nation’s modernization as a substantial global opportunity.
Highlighting the success of China’s socialism, he underscored the historic achievement of lifting over 900 million people out of poverty. This milestone, achieved through relentless state-wide efforts and aligning with the millennia-old dream of Chinese prosperity for all, led to meeting the U.N. 2030 Agenda’s poverty reduction goal a decade ahead of schedule. President Xi pledged to sustain this momentum, focusing on high-quality development to ensure the benefits of modernization reach every corner of China.
President Xi Jinping articulated a people-centered vision for China’s development, emphasizing economic strength, improved living standards, cultural enrichment, and holistic personal development. He championed the Global Civilization Initiative to address the balance between material and cultural progress, advocating for global human civilization advancement.
Committing to sustainable development, China prioritizes environmental conservation, boasting significant achievements in renewable energy, afforestation, and emissions reduction. Pledging carbon neutrality by 2060, China aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030.
President Xi reaffirmed China’s commitment to peaceful development, rooted in its cultural values, rejecting aggression and expansion. He emphasized the Chinese people’s desire for stability and enduring world peace, crucial for China’s rejuvenation.
Internationally, President Xi’s approach, echoed by global observers, is admired for his statesmanship and vision. China’s efforts extend beyond its borders, assisting developing nations with tangible infrastructure, technological support, and knowledge transfer for accelerated development. This approach starkly contrasts with perceived unilateralism and power politics, aligning with universal principles of peaceful coexistence outlined in the UN Charter. Xi’s philosophy emphasizes that successful endeavors must originate from, derive strength from, and be achieved by the people.

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