China’s Xi Jinping Says Big Nations Must ‘Behave In A Manner Befitting Their Status’

Reiterating China’s position on strengthening multilateralism, President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said there is a “need for justice, not hegemony” and big countries should “behave in a manner befitting their status.”

Addressing the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference on its 20th anniversary, Xi urged solidarity and cooperation in the backdrop of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

“Instability and uncertainty are clearly on the rise. Humanity is facing growing governance deficit, trust deficit, development deficit, and peace deficit,” he told the conference via video link.

However, he said economic globalization is “showing renewed resilience; and the call for upholding multilateralism and enhancing communication and coordination has grown stronger.”

“China calls on all countries in Asia and beyond to answer the call of our times, defeat the pandemic through solidarity, strengthen global governance, and keep pursuing a community with a shared future for mankind,” he added.

Xi said post-pandemic times require “consultation on an equal footing to create a future of shared benefits.”

China will, he added, continue to carry out anti-COVID cooperation with the World Health Organization and assured to make “vaccines a global public good.”

“Global governance should reflect the evolving political and economic landscape in the world, conform to the historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation, and meet the practical needs in addressing global challenges,” said the Chinese president.

“We need to follow the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, uphold true multilateralism, and make the global governance system more fair and equitable.”

No to Unilateralism

Calling for support and safeguarding the UN-centered international system, Xi said the international order should be preserved while the multilateral trading system “should be upheld with the World Trade Organization at its core.”

“We must not let the rules set by one or a few countries be imposed on others, or allow unilateralism pursued by certain countries to set the pace for the whole world,” he added.

“We need commitment to justice to create a future of mutual respect and mutual learning. Diversity is what defines our world and makes human civilization fascinating,” he said.

Focusing on China’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Xi said China “will follow the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, and champion the philosophy of open, green, and clean cooperation, in a bid to make the BRI cooperation high-standard, people-centered and sustainable.”

He said China will build a closer partnership in health and said the country has already started joint vaccine production in BRI participating countries such as Indonesia, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Turkey.

Besides, he said Beijing will build partnerships for connectivity, green development and “openness and inclusiveness.”

“China will stay committed to peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, develop friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence, and promote a new type of international relations,” he said.