Xi Jinping’s Speech Shows Ambition but No Confidence

April 21, 2021 Updated: April 21, 2021

Commentary

On April 20, Xi Jinping released a video speech at the Boao Forum for Asia 2021 entitled, “Pulling Together Through Adversity and Toward a Shared Future for All”; it didn’t outline any plans or concepts of global governance, instead only focused on confrontation with the United States.

This manifesto, full of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) culture, unabashedly revealed the CCP’s ambition to dominate the world.

Xi said that he will “never seek hegemony, expansion.” He also claimed in front of the international community that the CCP “has striven forward against all odds in a relentless pursuit of … the common good for the world” for the past 100 years.

Xi’s ambition for “a community with a shared future for mankind” is tainted by his lack of confidence. He was helpless in the face of reality. While claiming that “World affairs should be handled through extensive consultation,” and “What we need in today’s world is justice, not hegemony,” he stressed that the “decoupling” of economies “would hurt others’ interests without benefiting oneself.”

He emphasized that “the fruits of scientific and technological innovation can be turned into greater benefits for people in all countries.”

In the past four months, Xi’s strategy of extreme pressure on the United States has completely failed. After he messed up relations with Western countries by concealing crucial source data and information about the pandemic, now he is trying to hold onto France and Germany to show that he can still confront the United States.

However, the strong statement made by the leaders of the United States and Japan on the CCP’s provocations should have caused an unexpected blow to the CCP’s top hierarchy. Xi can’t do anything but continue to amplify his message, despite its lacking strategic depth, to both domestic and international audiences.

Xi started his speech with “A World in Change,” “Global Governance,” and “a shared future for mankind,” only to reiterate his outdated prescription, the “Belt and Road.”

He said that “Global governance should reflect the evolving political and economic landscape in the world,” “World affairs should be handled through extensive consultation,” and “We must not let the rules set by one or a few countries be imposed on others.”

“What we need in today’s world is justice, not hegemony,” he said. “Big countries should behave in a manner befitting their status.”

Obviously, these remarks were entirely targeted at the United States.

Xi has been restricted by not having hegemonic strength. He could only emphasize a lame and symbolic doctrine. The CCP’s increasingly public provocations have instead forced Biden to speed up the pace of cooperation with allies to deter the CCP, and resort to increasing the technology sanctions of the Trump era. Military confrontation has become even more intense.

The United States and Japan have disclosed a series of advancements to their cooperation in economy and technology to enhance competitiveness and to curb the Chinese regime. Xi has no way to rebut those advances but only to reply in general terms, “We need to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, deepen regional economic integration, and enhance supply, industrial, data and human resources chains, with a view to building an open world economy.”

This shows Xi’s ignorance of the real situation of “A World in Change,” and his arrogant dream about “Global Governance.” In fact, he has little say about these topics, let alone a plan to prevent the CCP from being isolated.

Therefore, Xi resorted to slogans that are steeped in CCP propaganda, such as “step up exchanges and cooperation in such areas as artificial intelligence, biomedicine, and modern energy, so that the fruits of scientific and technological innovation can be turned into greater benefits for people in all countries.”

The United States and Japan undoubtedly take the lead in the field of technology. Faced with the fact that stealing no longer serves its needs, the CCP indeed has suffered from a series of “bottleneck” issues in almost every field.

The CCP single-handedly initiated “a new ‘Cold War’” and ideological confrontation. Now it has found itself in a dilemma where it is largely isolated internationally. Xi has no solution, so he said, “I have noted on various occasions that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a public road open to all, not a private path owned by one single party. All interested countries are welcome.”

The BRI was actually forced to come to an end. The CCP itself is short of capital. How can there be any funds for foreign investment? In fact, some countries have begun to withdraw. It’s an open question about how many of the original projects will be implemented in the end.

Xi still said, “by 2030, Belt and Road projects could help lift 7.6 million people from extreme poverty and 32 million people from moderate poverty across the world.” I wonder who would believe that.

The focus of Xi’s speech was on confrontation with the United States. “The year 2021 marks the centenary” of the CCP and the CCP “has striven forward … the common good for the world” for the past 100 years, he said. However, these are slogans for a domestic audience.

Such words and deeds are exactly the opposite of “China will never seek hegemony, expansion, or a sphere of influence. Nor will China ever engage in an arms race” could only be told by dictators such as the leaders of the CCP.

At the April 19 press conference, the CCP’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reacted to the U.S.-Japan joint statement, “The U.S. and Japan cannot represent the international community. They have no right to define international order.”

Indeed, for the CCP, defining the international order would only make sense when they have enough power to represent the international community.

Zhong Yuan is a researcher focused on China’s political system, the country’s democratization process, human rights situation, and Chinese citizens’ livelihood. He began writing commentaries for the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times in 2020.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.