Xi Vows To Absorb Taiwan, Centralises Foreign Policy Decision-Making

2 January 2024 12:00 am – 0      – 86

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In this endeavour, China’s initiatives like the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Global Security Initiative (GDI) and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) will play a major role 

The world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation. Therefore, the country will foster new dynamics in its relations with the world, and raise its international appeal to shape events to a new level 

Gets The Backing Of The Central Conference On Foreign Affairs For An Aggressive Foreign Policy Stance To Face Mounting Challenges.
Given the sluggish recovery of the Chinese economy post-COVID, and the increasingly challenging international environment, China’s President Xi Jinping has assumed a tough foreign policy stance, centralizing decision-making in institutions he personally heads.
Perhaps he considers 2024 to be ideal for decisive and assertive posturing given that it is the “Year of the Dragon” which is said to bring luck, good fortune and prosperity.
To take the mounting international challenges head-on, Xi has opted for a highly centralised decision-making system based on his “Thought on Diplomacy”.
His plan was backed by the “Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs” held in Beijing on December 27 and 28.
In his New Year message, Xi said that mainland China will be united with Taiwan. “China will surely be reunified, and all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should be bound by a common sense of purpose and share in the glory of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,”he said.

Of course, this is not the first time, Xi pledged to take Taiwan. He bluntly said this to US President Joe Biden during their recent summit in San Francisco, though he had taken care to add that China’s preference would be to take Taiwan peacefully. He also dismissed speculations about a timeframe for it.
However, Chinese officials had asked in advance of the summit, that Biden make a public statement that the US supports China’s goal of peaceful unification with Taiwan and does not support Taiwanese independence. The White House flatly rejected the request, though the US is theoretically committed to the “One China” policy.
Xi, who is General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), President of the People’s Republic of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, addressed the “Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs” and enunciated “comprehensive plans for China’s external work for the present and coming periods.”
A readout on the meeting said that the foreign policy path pursued so far was based on Xi’s “Thought on Diplomacy” and that it had “opened new vistas in the theory and practice of China’s diplomacy and provided the fundamental guidelines for advancing diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.”
By following Xi’s thoughts, China had showcased its diplomacy “with Chinese characteristics” and “established the image of a confident, self-reliant, open and inclusive major country with a global vision,” the readout said.
Under Xi’s “Thought on Diplomacy” China’s diplomacy advocated the building of “a community with a shared future for mankind, pointing the right direction for human society leading to common development, lasting peace and security, and mutual learning between civilizations.”
China has “expanded a comprehensive strategic layout, and formed a wide-ranging, high-quality global network of partnerships.” China’s high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, it said, had become “the world’s most broad-based and largest platform for international cooperation.”
While doing all that, China had safeguarded its security, sovereignty, and development interests “with a firm will and an indomitable fighting spirit,” the conference document said.
Further, China had taken “an active part in global governance, and shown the way in reforming the international system.”
And last but not least, China had “strengthened the centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and brought about greater coordination in China’s external work.”
Diplomacy “with Chinese characteristics” had gained much more strategic autonomy and initiative, the conference asserted. China also became a “responsible major country with enhanced international influence, stronger capacity to steer new endeavours, and greater moral appeal.”
It was resolved that on major issues concerning the future of humanity and the direction of the world, China must take a “clear and firm position, hold the international moral high ground, and unite and rally the overwhelming majority in our world.”
“It is imperative to shoulder responsibility as China is a major country. We need to advocate the spirit of independence, champion peaceful development, and promote global stability and prosperity,” the conference resolved.
Calling for a proactive policy, it said that Chinese diplomats need to have “a correct understanding of history and of the big picture” and “seize the initiative.”
“It is imperative to carry forward our fighting spirit. We must reject all acts of power politics and bullying, and vigorously defend our national interests and dignity,” it added.
The readout said that the strength of Chinese diplomacy rests on its institutions, chief of which is the centralized leadership.
“It is imperative to leverage our institutional strengths. Under the centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, all regions and all departments must coordinate with each other and build strong synergy.”

On the nature of the world and the trajectory of change, the communique said that the “world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation.”
On China’s outlook for the future, the communique said that the country will “foster new dynamics in its relations with the world, and raise its international influence, appeal and power to shape events to a new level.”
In this endeavour, China’s initiatives like the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Global Security Initiative (GDI) and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI), will play a major role, the readout said.
The conference called for an “equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization,” resolutely rejecting “hegemonism and power politics”.
It called for support to the “purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter” and to the “universally recognized, basic norms governing international relations”.
The conference called for “inclusive economic globalization to meet the common needs of all countries, especially the developing countries, and properly address the development imbalances between and within countries resulting from the global allocation of resources.”
It resolutely opposed attempts to roll back globalization and bring back unilateralism and protectionism. It called for solutions to the structural problems hindering the healthy development of the world economy. Economic globalization, it said, must be “more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.”
The conference asked diplomats to identify the strategic tasks of Chinese diplomacy in a more multi-dimensional and comprehensive manner.

However, the central point of the conference was to make it clear that China’s external work shall be guided by Xi Jinping’s “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era” and his “Thought on Diplomacy” in particular.
It was stressed that diplomats “must unswervingly uphold the CPC central leadership’s ultimate authority over foreign affairs, conscientiously uphold the centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and further strengthen the systems and institutions for the CPC’s leadership over external work.”
“All localities and departments should keep in mind the big picture and coordinate with each other to implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee on our external work in both letter and spirit.”
Speaking to the South China Morning Post, on the conference’s decisions, Zhiqun Zhu, an International Relations Professor at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania said that the exercise was part of the Communist Party’s “efforts to further centralise decision making, to highlight Xi’s contribution to China’s diplomacy in the new era, and to elevate Xi’s political status to the level of Mao”.
Zhu further said that it was clear that Xi would call the shots on all important matters, raising some concerns about whether the party had completely departed from “collective” leadership.
Also, the CPC’s total control over foreign affairs leaves professional diplomats with little room to manoeuvre, Zhu added.
But Su Hao, a diplomacy expert at China Foreign Affairs University, which is affiliated with the Foreign Ministry, had a different take on the issue. According to him the centralized approach eminently suites the changing international environment.
Su told Shenzhen TV that the world is no longer dominated by the West. Developing countries like China have risen in power, and there is multi-polarity. In this scenario, a big power like China needs to have a system geared to play a decisive role.