Often overshadowed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has flexed his wings recently, penning an article for Bloomberg’s website about how “economic openness serves everyone better.” Bloomberg.com has been blocked in mainland China since 2012. It’s unclear if Li sees the irony in all of this.
Of course, Li is not writing about journalistic openness, but economic openness. In his piece, he lists China’s various economic accomplishments and champions the virtues of globalization:
Above all, we remain convinced that economic openness serves everyone better, at home and abroad. The world is a community of shared destiny. It’s far preferable for countries to trade goods and services and bond through investment partnerships than to trade barbs and build barriers. Should differences arise, it behooves us all to discuss them with respect and a keen sense of equality.
China stands resolute with the World Trade Organization and multilateral free-trade agreements designed to be inclusive. Economic globalization has enabled the creation and sharing of wealth on an unprecedented scale. There are problems, too, more on the sharing side. These can be addressed, but only if countries work together to ensure that a rising tide really does lift all boats.
His article comes right on the heels of a pair of speeches that Chinese President Xi Jinping gave during his trip to Switzerland last week. In his first speech at Davos, Xi cast himself as as the world’s defender of globalization and free trade against new US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies. While in the second speech at the United Nations office, Xi called for treating all nations, both big and small, as equals, as well as for a world without nuclear weapons.
Both speeches were met with sneers by some who believed that Xi’s words were contradictory to his own government’s actions. However, China seems to be pushing full steam ahead in recasting its international image following Trump’s election. Li concludes his article with these heartfelt words.
In a world with a plethora of uncertainties, China offers an anchor of stability and growth with its consistent message of support for reform, openness, and free trade. The times may be difficult. But that’s all the more reason not to lose sight of these principles, which have stood China—and the world—in good stead.
Of course, the irony here is that while Li may want the world to be open with China; China is not open to Bloomberg. The media organization’s website was blocked in 2012 after they published an article on how Xi Jinping’s family members had enriched themselves as he rose to the top of China’s leadership.
Strangely enough, it seems that recently top level Chinese officials are taking over Western media. Earlier this week, NBC sat down for an exclusive, English-language interview with Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang who used the platform to issue warnings to Trump on the South China Sea and Taiwan.
Of course, if Lu had actually wanted Trump to hear the warnings, he should have gone on Fox News.
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