In the latest of a string of articles talking up the importance of Xi Jinping’s visit to the USA, state media recently published an article detailing six topics that he will be looking to discuss with Barack Obama.
The article, published by Beijing News, begins by rubbishing any accusations that cyber attacks on US servers were launched from the PRC. It expresses dismay over speculations about the “mischief reef” constructions in the South China Sea. Bad mouthing of the Chinese economy has also been deemed unwelcome.
The six topics are as follows:
1. China is no threat to the established international order: Quoting a speech from Xi delivered at this month’s General Assembly in Beijing, “The world should work together to maintain international order and the international system has the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as its core. Actively building new international relations in order to capitalise on cooperation is part of the core.”
2. China’s development will not lead to conflict with other nations: Xi will say that China wishes to offer mutual benefits through cooperation. State media goes on to say that US Secretary of State John Kerry and and Xi agreed earlier in May that the Pacific region is big enough for the two great powers.
3. China won’t engage in building its own spheres of influence: Instead, China seeks to build a community of interests and destiny. Xi is quoted as saying, “We live in the same global village, the intersection of history and reality of life, in the same space and time, becoming closer and closer all the time. This is the ‘community of destiny’.”
4. Initiatives such as the New Silk Road are not an attempt to vie for leadership: Xi will be looking to outline in full his intentions for economic plans such as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road, emphasizing that these are not an attempt to gain influence over neighboring countries
5. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is not an attempt to overturn the existing financial system: Instead, the controversial bank is merely an honest attempt to remove bottlenecks to infrastructure funding in underdeveloped areas of Asia.
6. Construction in the South China Sea is not aimed at any one nation: Building on the islands is instead necessary in order for China to fulfill its international obligations and the US must remain impartial when stepping into disputes in the region.
No doubt the US will have their own take on these issues, particularly with regard to the AIIB and developments in the waters to the south of China. The Obama administration has done everything in its power to discourage its allies from joining the China-led bank and is trying to put a lid on Beijing’s ambitions in the South China Sea.
By Daniel Cunningham and Dominic Jackson