No one country or bloc can dictate global rules, says President Xi as China marks 50 years at UN

BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday (Oct 25) took a thinly veiled swipe at the US-led international order, while also lauding China’s political system and global contributions, in a speech to mark the 50th anniversary of the country’s membership at the United Nations.

“(The Chinese people) have always pursued an independent foreign policy of peace, upheld justice and resolutely opposed hegemonism and power politics,” the Chinese leader said.

While he did not explicitly name the United States, Mr Xi said international rules cannot be dictated by any single country or bloc, state news agency Xinhua quoted him as saying.

“International rules can only be set jointly by all 193 UN members. These cannot be left up to the decision of any single country or bloc. International rules should be jointly observed by all 193 UN members – there can be and should be no exceptions,” said Mr Xi.

He was speaking at a conference in Beijing to mark five decades since the “restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations”.

Beijing took its UN seat in 1971, replacing the Republic of China, the official name for Taiwan, after Washington switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

The conference was attended by diplomats and representatives of international organisations in China, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who addressed the conference virtually.

In his speech, Mr Xi pointed to China’s international contributions of vaccines and pandemic-related assistance, and lauded its achievement in eliminating absolute poverty.

Each country’s path should be judged on whether it can “bring about economic development, social progress, improvement of livelihoods and social stability”, said Mr Xi, adding that no civilisation was greater than another.

China’s goal to build a “community of shared future for mankind” was not about “replacing one system with another, or one civilisation with another”, but was about different countries sharing rights and responsibility, he said.

Mr Xi’s comments come as tensions hot up over the Taiwan Strait – the mainland has carried out a record number of incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone this month as it flexes its military muscles over the self-ruled island.

His comments also come on the heels of virtual discussions between American and Taiwanese officials last Friday on Taiwan’s “meaningful participation” at the UN.

Beijing sees Taiwan as a renegade province that has to be reunified with the mainland, and bristles at any sort of attempt to increase Taiwan’s international space.

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