China’s President Xi calls for end to hegemony and demands ‘fair’ world order in veiled jab at the US

The Chinese president has spoken of his wish to see a fairer world which isn’t dominated by a single country as he called for an end to the artificial “building of walls” and “decoupling” amid simmering tensions with the US.

Speaking on Tuesday at the annual Boao Forum for Asia, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said Beijing and its counterparts want to see the development of a “fair” global order.

International affairs should be handled by everyone through consultation, and the future and destiny of the world should be controlled by all countries. The world should be fair, not overbearing. A big country must look like a big country and show more responsibility.

The president called on nations to abandon the Cold War mentality, a call which has often been directed at Washington in recent years, and said the future of international relations needs “equality, mutual respect and mutual trust at the forefront.”

Seeking to dismiss accusations of aggression laid against Beijing and its alleged desire to overtake the US as the world’s number one superpower, Xi noted: “China will never seek hegemony, expand, seek spheres of influence, or engage in an arms race.”

Xi’s demands for a fairer world order were accompanied by a call for greater trade liberalization to promote economic growth around the world. “Artificially building walls and decoupling violate the laws of economy and market rules, harming others and detrimental to ourselves,” he stated, in a probable reference to sanctions and the blacklisting of Chinese companies and individuals by foreign parties in recent months. 

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The speech, entitled ‘Together in a boat to overcome difficulties, destiny and create a better future’, also included a rallying cry to nations in Asia and across the world to better cooperate and overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

Xi’s speech comes as tensions between China and the US reach the boiling point. In the last fortnight alone, Beijing has been angered by Washington’s sending of an unofficial delegation to Taipei, sailing a warship through the Taiwan Strait, and commencing military drills with the Philippines.

China has sent numerous jets to fly over Taiwan, which it considers an integral part of the country.
Washington has been very vocal in its opposition to alleged Chinese human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, its claims over Taiwan, and has recently called on Beijing to take more responsibility for its part in global warming.

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