China unlikely to embrace rapid foreign policy changes because of Xi's narrative, says expert

Chinese President Xi Jinping China

Ever since Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the opening event of the 20th National Congress, China analysts are looking for answers to better understand the mind of all-powerful leader who is set to enter his third term.

Regional experts say Xi will either be re-elected as general secretary of the CCP or will be newly elected as chairman of the CCP, a title that has lain dormant since 1982 and was once the highest position ever held by Mao Zedong.

The congress is taking place at one of the most perilous periods in world affairs in recent years. Also, inadequate economic performance and zero-covid policy have received flak.

Writing for the Asia Times, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies, The University of Western Australia, Yu Tao said many foreign policy narratives in this year’s report are similar or identical to those in his 2017 report. This includes key phrases such as upholding world peace, promoting common development, and working to build a community with a shared future for humankind.”

“The continuity in Xi’s narratives indicates China is unlikely to embrace rapid foreign policy changes in the foreseeable future. Keeping the existing foreign policy narratives may also be a deliberate choice. After all, Xi is widely expected to secure a historic third term as China’s top leader, so his policies will likely stay,” he said in an article first published in The Conversation.

According to Yu, China President’s report that he presented to the CCP members indicates China will not only look after its own security but also work on common security, primarily through the Global Security Initiative raised by Xi in April 2022.

“It will likely become China’s new foreign policy framework to take on the US’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, which China believes aims to contain China and attempts to make Asia-Pacific countries ‘pawns’ of US hegemony,” he adds.

On Sunday, Xi Jinping opened the ruling Communist Party’s twice-a-decade National Congress. Analysts say that Xi will undoubtedly extend his term in power for another five years.

Confirmation of Xi Jinping’s third term will be an ominous moment not only for China but for the world, according to Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director Hana Young.

“Confirmation of Xi Jinping’s third term will be an ominous moment not only for the millions of Chinese citizens who have suffered grave human rights violations under his rule, but also for people around the world who feel the impact of the Chinese government’s repression,” Hana Young said in a statement on October 15.

“President Xi’s decade in power has been characterized by sweeping arbitrary detentions, a ruthless nationwide crackdown on freedom of expression and association, crimes against humanity against Muslims in the Xinjiang region, and a dramatic escalation of repression in Hong Kong,” she added.

Further slamming China’s repressive policies, Young said the government’s policies and practices under Xi’s leadership pose a threat to rights not just at home, but globally. (ANI)