Chinese President Xi touts party's common ground with foreign nations

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG, XINHUA) – China’s President Xi Jinping warned against politicising the pandemic in a speech to a summit of political organisations from around the world that sought to show the ruling communist party’s broad foreign support.

“In the face of the ongoing Covid-19, we need to continue with a science-based response approach and advocate solidarity and cooperation so as to close the ‘immunisation gap’,” he said at a keynote speech at the Communist Party of China (CPC) and World Political Parties Summit.

“The achievements of the Communist Party of China cannot be separated from the support of people around the world,” Mr Xi told the online gathering of representatives from about 500 political parties in 160 countries, which was organised by China.

Much of the speech was devoted to finding common ground between nations, and China’s willingness to work with other countries.

Political parties “should join the interests of people in each nation with those of the world”, Mr Xi said.

“We should stand opposed to the practice of unilateralism disguised as multilateralism and say no to hegemony and power politics,” he said.

“Viewed from the perspective of ‘my own country first’, the world is a cramped and crowded place perpetuated in fierce competition,” Mr Xi said. “Viewed from the perspective of ‘a global community with a shared future’, the world is a vast and broad place full of cooperation opportunities.”

The Chinese leader also called on the political parties to jointly oppose the practice of seeking technology blockade and divide as well as decoupling.

“We need to enable all countries to step up development cooperation, and see to it that the fruits of development are shared by all,” he said.

Any political manipulation for the purpose of sabotaging the development of other countries and undercutting the livelihood of other peoples will receive little support and prove to be futile, he added.

Mr Xi adopted a broadly softer tone than the rhetoric he used in a speech last Thursday (July 1) to the nation of 1.4 billion people that seemed designed to build nationalist backing for his party on its 100th anniversary.

“The Chinese people will never allow any foreign forces to bully, coerce and enslave us,” he had said.

China and the United States remain at odds over a range of issues, from technology and trade to the origins of the coronavirus, as well as Beijing’s policies in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

China and the European Union have also struggled to cooperate as the bloc’s leaders have turned towards criticising Beijing’s human rights record.

Still, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron pressed Mr Xi in a video summit on Monday to allow more flights from Europe as they sought to repair ties with Beijing.

Negative views of China remain near record highs across the developed world, recent polling by Pew Research Center found. Majorities in 15 of the 17 advanced economies surveyed this year hold an unfavourable opinion of China, including record highs in Canada, Germany, South Korea and the US, according to Pew.

The summit that Mr Xi addressed on Tuesday was organised by the CPC Central Committee’s International Department, which calls it a platform for outreach to foreign nations.

More on this topic

Mr Xi said the judgment of whether a country is democratic or not should be made by their people, not by a handful of others.

He noted that there are multiple ways and means to realise democracy instead of a single prescribed method.

He also said there does not exist a fixed model for the path to modernisation, and the path that suits a country will serve it well.

“Cutting one’s feet to fit the shoes will lead nowhere,” he said.

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