China is striving to earn the trust and credibility of the world by showing its peace efforts in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, however, it's a ploy for aggression like in Taiwan, South China Sea, Hong Strait and Indo-Pacific, as well as the flexing of the military might in South Asia, according to the Indo-Pacific Centre for Strategic Communications (IPCSC).
If the on-ground realities are any evidence, China is still seen as an aggressive emerging global power with scant respect and consideration for the sovereignty of other countries, human rights of the ethnic minorities within China, especially Tibet and Xinxiang, and democratic values both within and without, IPCSC reported.
Indo Pacific Centre for Strategic Communications (IPCSC) is a dedicated Think Tank based in India and focuses on studies related to Indo-Pacific Affairs, Climate Change, and Disinformation.
The oft-repeated cliches of the Chinese President, more frequently since the 20th Part Congress, regarding 'Chinese style of modernisation' and ensuring 'common prosperity' through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have not generated enough confidence because of their failings and criticism, according to the Indo-Pacific Centre for Strategic Communications (IPCSC).
China is attempting to pervade almost all international platforms as part of efforts to change its image as a responsible, cooperative, and peaceful emerging global power, IPCSC reported. China is changing and becoming more interested in constructive engagements with the global fraternity rather than expansionism and conflict.
Again, Beijing's success in this quest would rely heavily on the honest, observable, and tangible manifestation of this transition on the ground, rather than simply crafting a narrative to impress, according to IPCSC.
In a recent article, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang criticised, albeit subtly, the United States and the West while outlining China's global foreign policy agenda along the lines reiterated by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the Eurasian Economic Union's second forum on May 24.
According to him, the Chinese President has forwarded three important initiatives, viz., the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security Initiative (GSI) and the Global Civilisation Initiative (GCI) to realise the vision and goals of the Chinese foreign policy, IPCSC reported.
The Chinese Foreign Minister has called on all countries "to work together to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity and to build a community with a shared future."
The Chinese posturing in the South China Sea, Hong Strait and Indo-Pacific is not hidden to the world community and flexing of military might in the South Asia either. Despite this, the Chinese Foreign Minister asserted that "China does not engage in competition between major powers" and "opposes creating ideological confrontation."
The speech and actions are far apart. China is still considered a threat rather than a friend by many countries. Who will believe in the Chinese call to come together for common prosperity until it is ready to address the concern of other countries? The brazen violation of international laws while violating the territorial rights of the adjacent countries in the South China Sea and China's denial to concede even while the UNCLOS called its action illegal, is a case in evidence indicating Chinese disrespect for the international laws., IPCSC reported.
However, Chinese policymakers are wondering why the impact is not generated to the desirable extent. Narratives have their own limits and if they fail to pass their test on real ground, nobody believes them!
Forced sinicization and modernization do not go hand in hand. The state-managed and forced imposition of cultural education on the ethnic minorities in closed camps is also an affront to modernisation, IPCSC reported.
The speech and actions are far apart. China is still considered a threat rather than a friend by many countries. Who will believe in the Chinese call to come together for common prosperity until it is ready to address the concern of other countries?
Discussing the Global Security Initiative, Qin criticized the "new cold war" mentality and interference in other countries' internal affairs while asserting that Xi stood for common security and survival and cited as an example China's intervention that prompted Saudi Arabia and Iran to resume diplomatic relations. He also referred to China's efforts to cool down the crisis in Ukraine and Russia, IPCSC reported.
But the world is yet to be convinced about the change in the heart of China. Few examples and initiatives do not change the broader reality of China.
The Foreign Minister claimed that China's Global Development Initiative is based on a people-centred philosophy that had raised more than 400 million people to the middle-income groups.
The change in the Chinese approach is visible in the claim of the Chinese Foreign Minister who claimed that "in the past 10 years, China's contribution to global growth has not been contributed alone by China but by the sum of the contributions of the G7 countries."
In the past, China had been frequently criticized for currency manipulation and the use of reverse technology to steal patents of Western companies and have a competitive edge in international trade. It is also criticised for forced technology transfer by foreign companies who trade with and invest in China while China keeps its markets closed for the products of the trading partners.
Today if China talks about free trade and multilateralism, it is certainly not believed at face value. A hidden agenda is suspected.
The BRI has also not been an unmixed blessing. The BRI with its thrust on building mega-size economically unfeasible infrastructure projects in the developing Afro- Asian countries has pushed many of them into debt traps and economic instability, IPCSC reported.
The promise of common prosperity through enhanced trade and economic ties including investment has eluded. Even in the countries where BRI projects have been implemented, they are criticised for lack of transparency, corruption and scant attention to social and environmental costs.
It is ironic that China which was inimical to free trade and competition in the past is today speaking a different language. Qin asserted that 'modernisation is the inalienable right of every country' and 'countries should not set up roadblocks and obstruct others from modernising.'
Qin claims that the Chinese Civilization Development Initiative has been thrown up as a competing alternative model of modernisation path "showing a new picture different from the Western modernisation model and creating a new form of human civilisation."
Although Qin clarified that this is not for imposing another model of development, he cautioned that 'blindly copying foreign models will not only lead to the opposite direction but may even lead to disastrous consequences."
He sought to reinforce this by recalling that China had "always envisioned a world of great harmony."
Asserting that food and clothing alone are not adequate, Qin emphasised that in proposing the Global Civilisation Initiative, Xi had advocated the importance of 'civilisation inheritance' and respect for the diversity of world civilisations. Modernisation, he pointed out, does not mean the decline of civilisations, but in fact, the rebirth of traditional culture, IPCSC reported.
As of now, this idea is quite contrary to China's style of engagement with the world which is primarily driven by strictly its own perception and understanding of human civilisation, which still is un-accommodative for free speech and difference of opinions or religious practices. (ANI)