Globe-trot­ting Xi aims to boost links

The pres­i­dent has trav­eled to 40-plus coun­tries since tak­ing of­fice, seek­ing to dove­tail strate­gies (since 2013)

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHANG YUNBI zhangyunbi@chi­

In the three years that Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has been in of­fice, he has trav­eled the globe to win sup­port for China’s new so­lu­tions, ini­tia­tives and strate­gies.

He has vis­ited more than 40 coun­tries on 20 trips dur­ing this time to out­line new con­cepts pro­posed by the coun­try, such as the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, the Silk Road Fund and theAsian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank.

Ob­servers said the coun­try’s lead­er­ship and its di­plo­mats are try­ing to help China and its friends to achieve greater­impe­tus for growth and to im­prove global gov­er­nance.

China started to re­in­force diplo­matic ef­forts soon af­ter Xi pro­posed co-build­ing the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and the 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road when vis­it­ing Kaza­khstan and In­done­sia in 2013.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive refers to the SilkRoad­E­co­nomic Belt and the 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road ini­tia­tives, which are aimed at im­prov­ing co­op­er­a­tion with coun­tries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

In 2014, dur­ing his trips abroad, Xi called for de­vel­op­ment strate­gies to be linked with coun­tries such as Mon­go­lia, and this trend has been in­creas­ing, ac­cord­ing to news re­leases and speeches.

In May last year, China and Rus­sia re­leased a joint state­ment to help dove­tail the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive with the Eurasi­aE­co­nomicUnion­ini­tia­tive, led by Rus­sia. The EEU, es­tab­lished at the start of last year, is an eco­nomic union of states lo­cated pri­mar­ily in north­ern Eura­sia.

Such ef­forts were pro­moted fur­ther dur­ing Xi’s trip to the Middle East in Jan­uary.

Ad­dress­ing the head­quar­ters of the Arab League in Cairo on Jan 22, he men­tioned the word “links” three times dur­ing his speech, call­ing for bet­ter ef­forts to dove­tail pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity and think tanks be­tweenChina and Arab coun­tries.

On Dec 22, For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi used the word “links” 15 times when de­liv­er­ing a speech on China’s diplo­matic ef­forts at a think tank sem­i­nar in Bei­jing.

He said China would make more in­ten­sive ef­forts to link strate­gies with var­i­ous coun­tries this year, in­clud­ing those in SouthA­sia.

Wu Bing­bing, a pro­fes­sor of Middle East stud­ies at Pek­ing Univer­sity, said such ef­forts by China show that the coun­try is flex­i­ble and is view­ing the is­sue not solely on an eco­nomic Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s over­seas vis­its front, but also cul­tur­ally.

The de­sire to match shared in­ter­ests lies be­hind the ef­forts to link dif­fer­ent strate­gies, Wu said.

He said Xi’s diplo­matic drive had taken time to cover all the ma­jor re­gions be­cause China was tak­ing a re­spon­si­ble and pru­dent ap­proach that re­quired ob­ser­va­tion and thought, be­hind which lay “great sin­cer­ity”.

Guo Yan­jun, deputy di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute ofAsian Stud­ies at China For­eign Affairs Univer­sity, said Xi’s de­sire to link strate­gies showed that China was not act­ing solely in its own in­ter­ests but for com­mon de­vel­op­men­twith­all coun­tries.

China’s calls to build the Com­mu­nity of Com­mon Des­tiny were aimed at show­ing that a shift in power on the global stage could be achieved peace­fully, Guo said.

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