Xi’s speech spells out a ‘global vi­sion’ Euro­pean ex­perts laud leader’s com­mit­ment to con­nected world

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By FU JING in Brus­sels fu­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The en­light­ened speech given by Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping at the open­ing of the 19th Na­tional Congress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China on Wed­nes­day has of­fered a “timely ref­er­ence of a global vi­sion” amid mount­ing world­wide chal­lenges and dif­fi­cul­ties, Euro­pean ob­servers said.

Im­pressed by Xi’s points on peo­ple-cen­tered de­vel­op­ment, har­mony of na­ture and hu­man be­ings, com­mon global peace and pros­per­ity, they closely watched the three-anda-half-hour ad­dress Xi made at the congress in Bei­jing.

“The world ur­gently needs a pos­i­tive vi­sion that can in­spire a new gen­er­a­tion of global cit­i­zens and it is en­cour­ag­ing to hear Xi pro­vide ex­actly that,” Den­nis Pam­lin, founder of Swe­den-based con­sul­tancy 21st Cen­tury Fron­tiers, said dur­ing an in­ter­view with China Daily.

He said Xi has been ask­ing for col­lab­o­ra­tion in re­la­tion to global chal­lenges, not­ing that “no coun­try can han­dle the var­i­ous chal­lenges fac­ing hu­man be­ings on their own.”

“From cli­mate change and pan­demics to ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and cy­ber­se­cu­rity, the world needs new bold global ini­tia­tives,” said Pam­lin.

Pam­lin said that per­haps even more im­por­tant, Xi high­lighted the need for a pos­i­tive vi­sion — which in China is of­ten cap­tured un­der the con­cepts of “eco­log­i­cal civ­i­liza­tion” and the “Chi­nese Dream” — as he stressed the need to cre­ate a clean and beau­ti­ful world that en­joys last­ing peace, uni­ver­sal se­cu­rity, com­mon pros­per­ity, open­ness and in­clu­sive­ness.

Shada Is­lam, geopo­lit­i­cal re­search di­rec­tor of Brus­sels­based think tank Friends of Europe, shared Pam­lin’s view on Xi ad­vo­cat­ing global col­lab­o­ra­tion at a time of global un­cer­tain­ties, Amer­ica’s re­treat from in­ter­na­tional en­gage­ment and the rise of anti-glob­al­iza­tion sen­ti­ments in Europe.

“I am es­pe­cially heart­ened and re­as­sured by Xi Jin­ping’s com­mit­ment to an open and in­ter­con­nected world in his com­ment that ‘No coun­try can re­treat to their own is­land. We live in a shared world and face a shared des­tiny’”, said Is­lam.

Rana Mit­ter, di­rec­tor of the Univer­sity of Ox­ford China Cen­tre, also agrees.

“The most sig­nif­i­cant part of Xi’s speech is the firm pledge to make China a ma­jor ac­tor in the world. At a time of ma­jor flux in the world or­der, it will be in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for China to play a sta­bi­liz­ing, re­spon­si­ble role when it comes to ques­tions of trade, se­cu­rity and in­ter­na­tional or­der,” Mit­ter said.

“As China takes on a greater role in the world, it will also have to shoul­der many of the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of a great power, en­cour­ag­ing freer mar­kets and a more trans­par­ent in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment. It will also have to tackle is­sues such as cli­mate change and pro­vide lead­er­ship there. The world will be watch­ing from now on.”

Luigi Gam­bardella, pres­i­dent of China EU, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion in Brus­sels that pro­motes dig­i­tal and in­ter­net co­op­er­a­tion, said Xi ap­pears to be a leader who will make China thrive in the dig­i­tal age, while the speech touched on strength­en­ing in­fra­struc­ture net­works and de­vel­op­ing ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing through the in­te­gra­tion of the in­ter­net, big data and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

“By re­stat­ing the role of so­cial­ism, he opens the way to a state-led ini­tia­tive to bring fiber con­nec­tions to all Chi­nese house­holds, al­low­ing them to ben­e­fit from the com­pet­ing ser­vices pro­vided by China’s thriv­ing dig­i­tal ecosys­tem,” Gam­bardella said.

Ce­cily Liu con­trib­uted to this story.

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