Western Powers Tense as Xi Vows Recovery from China’s ‘Century of Humiliation’

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

This article originally appeared in Bloomberg:

A “New Era” in President Xi Jinping’s China risks setting off alarm bells in the U.S. and Europe.

The ruling Communist Party committed to the more assertive policy during a twice-a-decade reshuffle that ended last week, contrasting with a relatively restrained approach over the past three decades. Xi said that China was “approaching the center of the world stage” as he outlined a road map for turning the country into a leading global power by 2050.

Now China’s most powerful leader in decades, Xi has sought to reassure the world that his country’s rise would be peaceful — a bid to avoid the so-called Thucydides trap that says a growing power will clash with an established force. Still, China’s growing military and economic interests are reason enough for the world’s strongest powers to worry.

“Xi’s vision includes — for the first time in contemporary Chinese history — staking out a global leadership role,” said Jonathan Sullivan, director of University of Nottingham’s China Policy Institute. “This will inevitably bring China’s interests up against those of other powers.”

China’s next chance to demonstrate its confidence could come as early as next week, when Xi hosts U.S. President Donald Trump on a state visit to Beijing. Topping the agenda will be North Korea and trade, issues that highlight both the U.S.’s unease about Chinese economic might and its desire for Beijing to take greater responsibility as a regional peacemaker.

Read the full story at Bloomberg.

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