China’s Xi Jinping hosts Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. Xi Jinping aims to project China as alternative leader to US. China faces challenges at home but aims to gloss over them
China’s Xi Jinping is hosting The Third Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The Belt and Road initiative is Xi’s brainchild in creating a ‘sweeping alternative to the US-led world order’, this time backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Over the year, one of the most powerful premiere of China, Xi Jinping has been ramping up efforts to project China as an alternative leader to the US, at a time, US has been making efforts to loose labour dependence on China and looking further south Asia at India.
Xi Jinping has touted his Belt and Road initiative with a vision for how global security and development should be ensured. In his initiative Xi has also landed the support of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Putin hailed Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative as “aiming to form a fairer, multi-polar world,” while touting his country’s deep alignment with China.
Russia and China share an “aspiration for equal and mutually beneficial cooperation,” which includes “respecting civilization diversity and the right of every state for their own development model” – he added, in an apparent push back against calls for authoritarian leaders to promote human rights and political freedoms at home, reported CNN.
World leaders, representatives and delegations from more than 140 countries – including in the West Asia and the Taliban attended the gathering marking one decade since the launch of Xi’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative.
However, China faces stark challenges at home. Despite Xi Jinping’s ceremonious outlook, the east Asian nation is facing a slowing economy, high unemployment and a series of recent unexplained shake-ups in the upper echelons of the ruling Communist Party.
Beijing aims to gloss over these challenges at the gathering to project its power and laud its contributions to global development as a prime example of its superior leadership.
That signature foreign policy has marshalled hundreds of billions in Chinese finance to build ports, power stations, bridges, rails and roads around the world – significantly expanding China’s international interests and influence along the way.
More than 150 countries have cooperated on the program, which Beijing says has mobilized “up to a trillion dollars in investments,” spurring growth in developing nations.
But it faces increasing headwinds as China’s economic growth engine slows amid a shifting financial climate worldwide and questions about its high costs for countries – from debt to environmental impact.