Rather, he credits the United Nations and the global community writ large and proposes his community of common destiny as the framework for future success. Xi claims that his community provides a better path for countries to achieve development and modernity than what the West offers. For Chinese leaders, development includes and goes beyond economics to encompass social development, technology, and innovation, and it can serve as a point of connection between countries to keep conflict at bay. According to Xi, two concepts crucial to the success of the Chinese development model are openness and markets.
Chinese leaders continue to affirm their decision to join the World Trade Organization as the right strategic choice. Chinese development is not premised on capitalism, either of the free-market or state capitalist sort. In development, as in politics, Chinese state media express increasing confidence that China provides a path superior to what the West offers. Like in the political dimension, it proposes its concepts as a framework to reform global economic governance. Over the long term, Beijing would like to diminish the U.
There is certainly a need for a greater voice for developing countries in economic governance given their growing share in global GDP. For external audiences, Xi frames the cultural component of the community of common destiny in terms of cross-cultural exchanges and respect for diversity. According to Xi, China, throughout its history, has been committed to not only its own peaceful development but also the greater good of the world at large. Those examples pale in comparison to the ongoing efforts to ensure that all religions in China answer first and foremost to the party.
Chinese authorities reportedly are burning Bibles and crosses, shutting down and bulldozing churches, 52 drafting regulations to further restrict religious content online, 53 and instructing clergy from all five denominations to align their religious beliefs with socialist core values. In it, dissident Winston Smith succumbs to torture in the Ministry of Love and renounces his personal and political loyalty. As the book ends, Smith finally realizes that he loves Big Brother.
But China watchers should bear in mind that repression of religious, artistic, and intellectual expression is not merely a product of local authorities reacting to events and desperately attempting to maintain control. Much about how Beijing will seek to implement its views of culture into its foreign policy remains to be determined. Xi went on to enumerate steps China was taking to address environmental problems, such as increasing renewable energy capacity, and future benchmarks it had set, such as reaching peak CO2 emissions by or earlier.
But Chinese leaders have made environmental progress a higher political priority in recent years. These include imposing tougher penalties on local officials who fail to meet pollution targets and establishing a system to hold individuals and companies that pollute the soil accountable for life. In the political, security, development, and cultural dimensions, Beijing argues that its historical experience and remarkable modern track record of peaceful development qualify it to take a leading role in reforming the global governance system to make it more peaceful, equitable, and prosperous.
As friction grows between Washington and Beijing on trade and many other issues, an area for cooperation could provide a valuable source for interaction that is genuinely win-win. An effective U.
Washington is starting to move in this direction and broaden its focus beyond trade. At this juncture, several steps could help policymakers build a broader strategy on the foundation of a correct understanding of how Beijing operates and a fuller appreciation of the advantages that the United States and like-minded nations can bring to the competition.
Early identification of emerging Chinese banner terms offers U. Bolstering China-related expertise is only part of the solution, however. The U. The creative thinking required to develop them is unlikely to emerge from government alone. The United States brings significant advantages to the debate — including a competitive marketplace of ideas, a strong capacity for clear-eyed self-reflection, and a willingness to acknowledge its own shortfalls.
But this is shortsighted. Its highly orchestrated, ostentatious campaigns to trumpet its vision are nothing to envy.
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Finally, Washington and others can consistently make clear that the free and open order is also open to China. Indeed, the order would be stronger — as would China itself — if Beijing chose to accept the invitation. Liza Tobin has worked for twelve years in various capacities as a China specialist for the United States government. Indo-Pacific Command Headquarters.
The views expressed here are her own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of U.
Indo-Pacific Command or the U. See his Dec.
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