Xi Jinping consolidates his power acclaimed by the National Popular Assembly (APN) of China in his third term as president of this Asian country. The Chinese Legislature, which concluded its week-long annual session on Monday, has endorsed President Xi and his economic recovery plans after the covid-19 pandemic, the promotion of a new diplomatic strategy for China and the challenge to the United States global hegemonism.
“We will dedicate ourselves to peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, stand firm on the right side of history, practice true multilateralism and uphold the shared values of mankind,” Xi said in his closing speech. the NPC.
The reference was obvious to the militarism displayed by the US in its foreign relations, from middle East to the Balkans and now Eastern Europeand the new Chinese strategy of showing a friendly face and a commitment to dialogue where its international rival has opted for force.
And Beijing has begun to take those steps towards multilateralism in the diplomatic arena. The new Chinese powerhouse, with Xi at the helm and Li Qian as prime minister, is keen to increase Beijing’s influence not only in eastern Asia and the Peaceful. China’s recent and effective mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia to settle a long-standing feud and China’s peace plan for Ukraine show the extent to which Beijing’s diplomacy is willing to extend its global weight and challenge China’s USA, especially where Washington it has relied more on threats and weapons.
Relations between Washington and Beijing had not been so tense for a long time, but now China appears as a rival to be reckoned with, with internal cohesion and an international diplomatic and economic presence that the communist regime had never had.
Xi, a “friendly” international leader
The Chinese president has officially kicked off his third term as Chinese head of state to cheers and applause from 2,952 legislators of the NPC. If in October he was already re-elected as Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party at his 20th Congress, he has now been confirmed as head of state and the People’s Liberation Army, and his political, economic and military plans for the new term have been unanimously endorsed by those attending this annual session of the Chinese Legislative Assembly.
Xi’s new “friendly” leadership obviates internal human rights violations, unfair competition in international markets, an unparalleled development of weapons in Chinese history and increasing pressure from its armed forces on the borders of neighboring countries. However, Xi will always be able to present these peccadilloes as a reaction to the corresponding pressures, also unprecedented, from USA about the Asian giant.
Li Qiang will try to win back the trust of the battered private company
With the restructuring of the State Council (the executive leadership of power), Li Qiang becomes the new head of government, with the main objective of breathing oxygen into the Chinese economy slowed down by the pandemic, while restoring foreign confidence in Chinese technological potential, despite US sanctions in this sector. “I believe that the Chinese economy will brave the wind and waves and sail towards a brighter future,” he said. li qiang to the press after the closure of the APN.
In his first press conference as prime minister, Li launched a cable to the private sector of the Chinese economy, which in recent years had been the object of special pressure from the powers that be. He goverment’s head He promised to “protect the rights and interests of businessmen, as well as the development and growth of private companies.”
Xi and Li renounced triumphalism in the closure of the NPC. Even the economic growth plan, predicted at 5% by 2023, the lowest in almost 30 years, has kept a certain humble composure after the bump in 2022, when the rise in GDP barely exceeded 3%.
The real estate and financial debacles have put the economy of the Asian giant on the brink of the abyss
The radical confinement in the country for almost three years of the pandemic has brought very serious economic consequences and its recent uprising, just as radical, has been on the verge of causing the already deficient Chinese health system to collapse. The real estate and financial debacles, the very high youth unemployment, the drought and the crisis of technological self-sufficiency due to the US sanctions on the Chinese chip trade and others state-of-the-art electronics systems They have also put the economy of the Asian giant on the brink of the abyss. All this seasoned with a demographic crisis whose negative weight will grow in the coming years.
The war in Ukraine and the accompanying increases in food and fuel prices were the last straw for Chinese economic growth, although they are serving to increase China’s role in the worldwith a model that rebels against hegemonism and without having to invade anyone, as the Americans and the Russians have done.
The Ukrainian war and Chinese diplomacy
The Ukrainian conflict has served to put the name of China on everyone’s lips, to the discomfort of USA and his western acolytes, after beijing He will present his plan in February to seek a political solution to the conflict. A plan that is welcomed by many of the war-damaged emerging economies.
China thus stands as a potential intermediary in a war that neither the Russians nor the Ukrainians want to conclude, and even less some USA and one Europe who intend to benefit from the conflagration. To win peace, you have to win the war, is the motto heard these days in Brussels. In China the vision is different: war only brings misfortunes to those who suffer it, to those who unleash it and to those who promote it. and of the war Ukraine there are many promoters.
Chinese mediation between Iranians and Saudis
The staging in Ukraine is one of the cards in the Chinese geostrategic deck. Another one that has had surprising success has been the recent intermediation between Iran and Saudi Arabiatwo bitter enemies in the Middle East, where their confrontation by proxy in Yemen has caused more than two hundred thousand deaths.
Last Friday, the Saudi and Iranian delegations agreed in Beijing to restore diplomatic relations and reopen their respective embassies within two months. With Chinese mediation, the governments of Riyadh and Tehran They pledged not to interfere in their respective internal affairs and to respect their territorial sovereignty. This agreement could consolidate a ceasefire in Yemen and reduce fear in Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Persian Gulf about the Iranian nuclear program.
Chinese mediation is a slap in the face to aggressive US diplomacy
Chinese mediation, despite the fact that the White House tries to minimize it or emphasize that Beijing is not a reliable mediator, is a slap in the face to aggressive US diplomacy, which in the Middle East has chosen to let its missiles and sanctions speak before to its ambassadors and envoys of peace.
The impact is even greater if one takes into account that Saudi Arabia it is one of the main allies of the United States in the region. Although Riyadh informed Washington of the talks in Beijing, the Saudis saw the opportunity China offered and did not waste it.
This mediation by China shows its full diplomatic capacity in parts of the world where it had remained on the sidelines. It is at the same time evidence that Xi Jinping is willing to play all the cards in his struggle, for the moment geopolitical and geoeconomic, with USA.
The Iran-Saudi deal further underscores that the Chinese proposal to forge a political solution to the Ukraine war is not bravado. The inclusion of an important item dedicated to the promotion of their diplomacy in the new Chinese budgets (presented in the APN last week) indicates where the shots are going.
Chinese mediation is not disinterested. Iran and Saudi Arabia They are two of its largest suppliers of hydrocarbons and the more stable the situation in the Persian Gulf, the better for everyone.
China’s lethal weapons supply to Russia unlikely
Although the peace that China is betting on serves its economic interests first and last, and contradicts its rearmament in East Asia, however, these diplomatic steps leave in the worst place the Europeans and Americans who also want defend their own interests, but they bet on prolonging the war in Ukraine.
An upcoming, and even imminent, visit to Moscow by Xi is expected
An upcoming, and even imminent, visit to Moscow by Xi is expected. Perhaps this trip could be decisive in trying to convince the Kremlin of the need for a ceasefire. And if the Kremlin agreed to negotiate with the government of kyiv in beijingthe responsibility for the continuation of the conflict would rest on the shoulders of a West that continues to reiterate that peace in ukraine It can only be achieved by winning the war.
For this reason, the US accusations that Beijing is preparing to send lethal weapons to Russia to be used against Ukraine. Such a move would go against the guiding principles of China’s current security policy.
Rearm, yes. Military maneuvers in his backyard and near taiwan (which claims China as its own territory), too. But for now, the Xi regime has drawn a red line that West He has been violating half the planet for decades: the non-involvement with weapons, advisers or logistical support in other people’s wars.