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Boao Forum for Asia may not assure optimistic future amid China's growing 'double standards'

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Beijing | May 28, 2022 10:54:01 PM IST
Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted China as an emerging superpower during the Boao's Annual Summit in Hainan in April and urged the world to consider it as an equal in addressing global challenges however its incessant pressure on Taiwan and assertiveness in the South China Sea for maintaining the hegemony raised questions on the leader's commitment.

One of the most remarkable features of the President's address was mooting the idea of a new "Global Security Initiative" (GSI) on the lines of its Global Development initiative as he called for shunning Cold War mentality, hegemonism, and power politics as these could "endanger world peace" and "exacerbate security challenges in the 21st century." These remarks were intended for the Biden administration, and the international community, to accept China as an emerging superpower, The Hong Kong Post reported.

The Chinese idea of GSI is the pursuit of an Asian hegemony and is designed to promote China's interests and agenda of creating an edge in its great power competition in Asia, especially with the United States.Despite talking about rejecting the Cold War mentality, the GSI is a clear attempt at promoting power politics in a manner beneficial to China. Many of the proposals in the GSI are a thinly veiled effort to compete with the United States and its partners and allies, The Hong Kong Post reported.

Commenting on Xi's initiative, an Asian diplomat noted that China tends to "come out with an excessively large framework that nobody objects to. The idea is that even if countries don't agree wholeheartedly, at least they can't fully oppose it. Then, bit by bit, they use the framework to chip away at the US."

According to the Hong Kong Post, Xi's assertion on respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations and their right to choose their own development paths and social systems belies Chinese track record of assault on sovereignty, territorial integrity and unilateralism in both South China Sea, Sino-Indian / Bhutan / Nepal borders.

China's purported faith in multilateralism is an effort to create a favourable milieu for its so called "peaceful rise to power" by increasing its political outreach and economic might through BRI, AIIB and BRICS in the hope of playing a bigger role and increased stakes in reshaping international relations. The underlying agenda is to challenge the U.S. global and Japanese regional leadership roles in economic governance. Calling on foreign leaders to "do more in jointly addressing climate change" anto step up implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, Xi held that the world needs to focus on green development. But it is pertinent to note that through its BRI, Beijing is promoting the construction of coal-fired power plants in Asia and African continent, which add to global carbon footprints, the report further stated.

Similarly, the essence of many of the proposals in the GSI comes down to the presumption that Asian affairs should be managed by Asian countries, which conveniently gives China a dominating position because of its size and power, and equally conveniently seeks to push the United States out of the Indo-Pacific.

BFA itself was first initiated by the leaders of the Philippines, Australia, and Japan, ever since its establishment in 2001, it has been carrying China's footprint more than anything in the present time. Modeled after the World Economic Forum in Davos, the BFA has an expressed focus on the "Asian perspective," as it brings together leaders from government, business, and academia from Asia and beyond to discuss economic issues important to the region. (ANI)

 
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