A Reuters piece about a speech held by China's President Xi Jinping reveals how 'western' reporting skew the view of global issues:
China's Xi calls for fairer world order as rivalry with U.S. deepens
BOAO, China (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for a rejection of hegemonic power structures in global governance, amid growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over a widening range of issues including alleged human rights abuses.
Speaking at the annual Boao Forum for Asia, Xi criticised efforts by some countries to "build barriers" and "decouple", which he said would harm others and benefit no one.
China has long called for reforms of the global governance system to better reflect a more diverse range of perspectives and values from the international community, including its own, instead of those of a few major nations.
The bolded sentence is wrong. China has not called 'for reforms of the global governance system' but for a return to the existing global governance system that the 'west' over the last years tended to ignore.
Here is the relevant section of his speech (emphasis added):
- We need consultation on an equal footing to create a future of shared benefits. 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. 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. We need to safeguard the UN-centered international system, preserve the international order underpinned by international law, and uphold the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core. World affairs should be handled through extensive consultation, and the future of the world should be decided by all countries working together.
To 'safeguard', 'preserve' and 'uphold' existing laws and organizations is not a 'call for reform' of the global governance system but a call for a return to its foundations which were set after the second world war. The Reuters writer pretends, like some 'western' politicians, that those foundations no longer exist.
The Reuters piece continues:
[China] has also repeatedly clashed with the biggest stakeholders in world governance, particularly the United States, over a range of issues from human rights to China's economic influence over other countries.
"The world wants justice, not hegemony," Xi said in remarks broadcast to the forum.
"A big country should look like a big country by showing that it is shouldering more responsibility," he said.
While Xi did not identify any country in his remarks, Chinese officials have in recent times referred to U.S. "hegemony" in public criticisms of Washington's global projection of power in trade and geopolitics.
Who please are 'the biggest stakeholders in world governance'? While the U.S. might be a 'big stakeholder' China is by population size and economic power a way bigger one. And who are the other 'biggest' besides the U.S.? India and Russia may come to mind but both have offered the same critique about a 'western' centric system as China does.
The above Reuters snippet also leaves out the most central quote from Xi's speech (emphasis added):
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. What we need in today's world is justice, not hegemony. Big countries should behave in a manner befitting their status and with a greater sense of responsibility.
Reuters also includes this slight:
As the Biden administration rallies other democratic allies to harden their stance on China, Beijing is seeking to strengthen ties with its autocratic partners and economically dependent neighbours in Southeast Asia.
It is a rhetoric trick to put the U.S. into the corner of 'democracy' and to associate China with 'autocratic partners'.
For one - many of the U.S. 'partners', especially in the Middle East, are 'autocratic' ones or even worse. China itself is a democracy:
Elections in China are based on a hierarchical electoral system, whereby local People's Congresses are directly elected. All higher levels of People's Congresses up to the National People's Congress (NPC), the national legislature, are indirectly elected by the People's Congress of the level immediately below.
The Boao forum is not Chinese, it is an international one. It was initiated by former leaders of the Philippines, Australia and Japan - all three democracies. The 26 founding countries of 'Asia's answer to Davos' are mostly democracies.
In his speech Xi Jinping lists democracy as a 'common value of humanity':
We must advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are common values of humanity, and encourage exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations to promote the progress of human civilization.
To purpose of the Boao forum is not to peddle to autocrats. Unless of course one counts the high profile U.S. businessmen who are taking part as such:
A slew of U.S. business leaders will be participating in the conference, including Apple Inc.'s Tim Cook, Tesla Inc.'s Elon Musk, Blackstone Group Inc's Stephen Schwarzman and Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio.
To sum up: The Reuters piece about Xi's speech at Boao is framed with a 'western' mindset and colored by 'western' hegemonic ideology. It leaves out the essence of the speech then adds bits that make the reader assume that the high level international event is a solely Chinese one, thereby disturbing its context.
It does not inform but propagandizes.
Posted by b on April 20, 2021
[Some colour fonts and bolding added.].