The world’s attention has considerately been beaming towards Beijing this week due to the ongoing 19th national congress of the Communist Party of China.
Without a doubt, world leaders and people from all walks of life had their eyes firmly fixed on the once-in-every-five-years event in China’s capital, if its coverage is anything to go by.
The outcome of the meeting to be made public at the tail end remains of an even greater interest to all and sundry.
But why would a political party affair be so significant to warrant the attention of the whole world?
China in its current state is led by the Communist Party, the founding and ruling political party of the People’s Republic of China. The Party is selecting its leaders for the next five years. Subsequently, the CPC national congress is expected to draw a road map for China’s development path under President Xi Jinping until 2022 and beyond.
China boasts of the second largest economy in the world and this, at least, justifies the attention. It contributed more than 30 percent of global economic growth this year alone.
It’s almost like if China sneezes, the world will catch a cold. In his speech during the opening of the congress, General Secretary Xi listed 14 fundamental principles of China’s envisioned socialism. One key feature of these principles, is China’s national interests in global affairs.
Shortly after assumption to office in 2012, president Xi Jinping started charting the course of his country’s diplomacy. Since then, he has championed diplomacy with he calls distinctive Chinese characteristics as the driving principle.
He asserted this position in the report that he read to the 2,307 CPC delegates who were meeting at the great hall of the people this week.
“We have made all-round efforts in pursuit of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, thus advancing China’s diplomatic agenda in a comprehensive, multilevel, multifaceted way and creating a favorable external environment for China’s development.” He said.
Major aspects of this major-country diplomacy state that China should pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and promote peaceful development. China however cannot reach such goals by sacrificing own legitimate rights and core national interests.
But the other aspect which perhaps has drawn global attention is the pursuit of a new model of international relation with win-win cooperation at the core. Here, the Asian economic giant has vigorously promoted initiatives such as the One Belt One Road framework.
Promoted by Xi since 2013 and successfully launched in May 2017, OBOR initiative serves as China’s blueprint for global development and coordination. Modeled as a platform that guarantees shared prosperity, many developing countries especially from Africa, Kenya Included, have signed into the framework.
Yet this is not the only feature of Chinese diplomacy. China has committed itself to fostering a new international order. Recently, China has played host to major diplomatic events. This was again captured in his report to the congress.
The Chinese leader said his administration has jointly pursued OBOR Initiative, established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, set up the Silk Road fund, hosted Belt and Road Forum, the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders Meeting, the G20 2016 Summit, the BRICS Summit among others.
“China champions the development of a community with a shared future for mankind, and has encouraged the evolution of global governance system.” He said.
China’s major role on Climate change has also catapulted the Far East country to the apex of global deliberations. Soon after US President Donald Trump announced his country’s withdrawal from the accord, China promptly moved in and assumed the leadership of Paris Agreement on Climate change.
Since then, Beijing has hosted high level meetings with leaders from across the globe to discuss how to deploy clean energy. By coming in to fill America’s shoes, China announced that it will stand by its responsibilities on Climate change.
Largely because of these mechanisms, president Xi disclosed that China’s international influence, ability to inspire and power to shape has risen. In his opinion, China has made great new contributions to global peace and development.
Many within the communist party view the diplomacy shift with Chinese characteristics under president Xi as a bright future for progress in international community heralding a new chapter in power relations.