Globe-trotting Xi aims to boost links
The president has traveled to 40-plus countries since taking office, seeking to dovetail strategies (since 2013)
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.