China’s Flawed Model for Peace

Xi promised to provide “Chinese solutions” to world problems, but its strategy for managing conflict has serious flaws.

Speaking at the 19th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress in October 2017, President Xi Jinping outlined his overarching foreign policy objective of moving China “closer to center stage” of world affairs. A few months later in March 2018, addressing the National People’s Congress delegates, Xi further spelled outhis vision for the world.

“The Chinese people have always paid close attention and provided unselfish assistance to people who still live in war, turmoil, hunger, and poverty… China advocates that all issues in the world should be settled through consultation,” Xi said. In order to facilitate these efforts, he added, “China will contribute more Chinese wisdom, Chinese solutions, and Chinese strength to the world.”

Since the 1980s, China’s engagement with the wider world has largely been in the context of its core national interests: maintaining the primacy of the CCP in domestic affairs, safeguarding territorial integrity and sovereignty, and ensuring economic development. Under Xi, there has been a shift with Beijing’s global actions now increasingly defined by — although not limited to — the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build infrastructure and trading connections linking Asia, Europe, and Africa.

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