Chinese leader appears with rare message

China’s president Xi Jinping has delivered a number of cryptic messages in a rare speech where he proposed a new “global security initiative”.

China’s president Xi Jinping has delivered a number of cryptic messages in a rare speech on Thursday where he proposed a new “global security initiative”.

Appearing via videolink to deliver the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022, Xi began his speech by the admitting the theme — “The World in COVID-19 & Beyond: Working Together for Global Development and Shared Future — “cannot be more relevant”.

Xi spent much of his speech urging the world to work together against the Covid-19 pandemic, despite Beijing being criticised itself for being notoriously secretive.

Despite the pleas for peace, there were other contradictions. He never mentioned another country by name but there were obvious comparisons to the US, Ukraine and Russia.

“Right now, changes of the world, of our times, of our history, are unfolding in ways like never before,” he said.

“These changes are posing challenges that must be taken seriously by humanity.

“We have yet to walk from the shadow of a once-in-a-century pandemic but new traditional security rules are already emerging.

“The weak and faltering global economic recovery is compounded by a widening development gap.

“Countries around the world are like passengers aboard the same ship who share the same destiny. For the ship to navigate the storm and sail toward a bright future, all passengers must pull together.

“The thought of throwing anyone overboard is simply not acceptable. In this day and age, the international community has evolved so much that it has become a sophisticated and integrated apparatus. Acts to remove any single part will cause serious problems to its operation.”

In what has been dubbed a “thinly veiled rebuke” to the United States, while never mentioning it specifically he made mention of the “Cold War mentality”, which is a common phrase within the Communist Party to describe the US-led alliance network.

“Security is the precondition for development. We humanity are living in an indivisible security community,” he said.

“It has been proven time and again The Cold War mentality would only wreck the global peace framework, hegemonist and power politics would only endanger world peace, and bloc confrontation would only exacerbate security challenges in the 21st century.”

Details of the Chinese leader’s global security proposal were vague but there were some indications he blamed the US for the war in Ukraine.

Mentions of “bloc confrontation” is also used by the Chinese over groups including AUKUS and NATO and he noted his opposition to what he called “the abuse of unilateral sanctions”.

Xi urged the international community to respect “legitimate security concerns of all countries”, a common phrase China has been using to defend Russia since February 25.

“It is important that we stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and work together to maintain world peace and security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries.”

He also spoke of “the principle of indivisible security”, a subject brought up by Vladimir Putin in a phone call with Boris Johnson the same month.

First set out in the 1975 Helsinki Act but which is now being used by Putin in his war with Ukraine, it poses that if the actions of one state threaten the security of another, the principle of indivisible security is breached. It has been described as “ambiguous” by the Central European Journal of International and Security Studies.

He stressed his commitment to “oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, reject double standards, and oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction.

He also pledged to “work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.”

Xi quoted “an ancient Chinese adage” which discusses how one must not change his commitment or give up his pursuit even in the face of danger and risk.

“A review of human history teaches us that the more difficult things get, the greater the need grows to stay confident. Problems are not to be afraid of, as it is one problem after another that have driven the progress of human society.

“Faced with the many challenges, we must not lose confidence, hesitate or flinch. Instead, we must firm up confidence and press ahead against all odds.

“For us to break through the mist and embrace a bright future, the biggest threat comes from corporation and the most effective way is through solidarity.

“Over the past two years and more the international community has been working extremely hard to respond to the Covid-19 challenge and boost global recovery and development.

“The hardships and challenges are yet another reminder that humanity is a community with a shared future where all people rise and fall together and that all countries need to follow the trends of the times featuring peace, development and willing co-operation, move in a direction of building a community with a shared future for mankind and rise to challenges and build a bright future for co-operation.

“We need to work together to defend people’s lives and health. Safety and health are the prerequisites for human development and progress.

“For humanity to clench a final victory against the Covid-19 pandemic, more hard efforts are needed. It is essential countries support each other, better co-ordinate response measures and improve global public health governance so as to form strong international synergy against the pandemic.

“We must keep Covid vaccines a global public good and ensure their accessibility and affordability in developing countries.”

He urged the need to “work together” to promote economic recovery, blaming the Covid pandemic for “seriously eroding the gains the world has made in production over the last decade”.

“Even recovery is aggravating inequality across the world further widening the north and south divide. We should stay committed to building an open world economy.”

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