The Di­men­sions of Pres­i­dent Xi’s visit to UK – A Global Per­spec­tive

The Diplomatic Insight - - News -

Dur­ing his 5-day tour in Lon­don and Manch­ester, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin-ping and his wife joined by a se­nior en­tourage paid a state visit to the United King­dom that winds up ma­jes­ti­cally one by the Chi­nese Pres­i­dent to the UK over the past ten years in which China’s power has been tremen­dously en­hanced in terms of its GDP and gen­eral ca­pac­ity as a ma­jor ris­ing power of the world. As usual, the com­ments on Xi’s visit to the UK are surly mixed with both praises and crit­i­cism. Niall Fer­gu­son, a pro­fes­sor of history at Har­vard Univer­sity, said that “I think it is a brave move by the Bri­tish Gov­ern­ment at the time when Wash­ing­ton is dis­tinctly hes­i­tant and am­biva­lent about the rise of China as a su­per­power, but the UK is right to seek good re­la­tions with Beijing.” Yet, there are still plenty of ques­tions, sus­pi­cions and even chal­lenges to UK—China re­la­tions. For sure, pub­lic sen­ti­ment in the UK is still far less ready to tol­er­ate Beijing’s con­ven­tional treat­ment of hu­man rights is­sues and their lawyers in­volved. In spite of th­ese con­tro­ver­sies, there are a few ob­vi­ous global di­men­sions of Xi’s state visit to the UK. First, the UK was the largest global em­pire in mod­ern history. As a re­sult, there have been 1/4th pop­u­la­tion or states of the world that ei­ther take it as a re­quired busi­ness, com­mer­cial and le­gal lan­guage. And the UK em­ploys its cul­tural legacy as a soft power in for­eign af­fairs. Given this, China has strug­gled for a global power in the con­text in which Beijing has to deal with the ma­jor­ity of states of the in­ter­na­tional so­ci­ety which are ei­ther rooted in the Bri­tish colo­nial legacy or are fa­mil­iar with the English cul­ture/ pol­i­tics. In ad­di­tion, the UK is one of the key mem­ber states of Euro­pean Union, the largest in­te­grated en­tity and has sur­passed the United States in terms This is the mi­lieu in which China seeks to work with the UK in or­der to set course for strate­gic ties now in the name of “com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship of the 21st cen­tury”. Sec­ond, China and the UK are not only the UN founders but also have shared the com­mon in­ter­ests in pre­serv­ing “Yalta Agree­ment” and “Pots­dam Dec­la­ra­tion”, which have been seen as the cor­ner­stones of the post-WWII world sys­tem. Al­though it is not in­volved into the dis­putes be­tween China and Ja­pan, the UK has shown its po­si­tion on the rise of China with the an­nounce­ment that the UK has be­come a found­ing mem­ber of the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB) that is surely a re­mark­able mile­stone in the bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween the two ma­jor pow­ers of the world to­day. This mu­tual tie aims to ar­gue for the mul­ti­ple world or­der which should be built upon

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