Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday warned against letting tensions in the Asia-Pacific region cause a relapse into a “cold war” mentality.
His remarks on the sidelines of the annual summit of the APEC forum came weeks after Australia, the UK and the US announced a new security alliance in the region that would see Australia build nuclear submarines. China has harshly criticized the deal.
In a separate illustration of strains within APEC, one Southeast Asian delegate said that the group had so far failed to reach agreement on a US bid to host the 2023 summit due to unmet demands from Russia.
Xi spoke in a pre-recorded video to a CEO Summit at APEC, which is being hosted by New Zealand in a virtual format. Xi is scheduled to participate in an online meeting with other Pacific Rim leaders, including US President Joe Biden, tomorrow.
In his speech, Xi said attempts to draw boundaries in the region along ideological or geopolitical lines would fail. His reference to the Cold War echoes Beijing’s oft-stated position that the US should abandon that way of thinking in dealing with China.
“The Asia-Pacific region cannot and should not relapse into the confrontation and division of the Cold War era,” Xi said.
Xi also said the region should make sure to keep supply lines functioning and to continue liberalizing trade and investment.
“China will remain firm in advancing reform and opening up so as to add impetus to economic development,” he said.
Later in the day, top Chinese Communist Party leaders passed a resolution on the party’s past, which is expected to cement Xi’s legacy in Chinese history books.
About 400 members of the powerful Central Committee passed China’s resolution on “Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party’s Centennial Struggle,” the third ever such resolution in its 100-year history.
The lengthy report, which came on the final day of a plenary that started on Monday, called for upholding “the correct view of party history,” official news agency Xinhua said, adding that the party has “written the most magnificent epic in the history of the Chinese nation for thousands of years.”
“The Party Central Committee called on the entire party, the entire army and people of all ethnic groups to unite more closely around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, to fully implement Xi Jinping’s new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” the document read.
This year’s plenum paves the way for the 20th National Party Congress next year, at which Xi is widely expected to be handed a third term in office, securing his position as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong (毛澤東).
Additional reporting by AFP
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