Upcoming SE Asia visits fuel expectations on China’s role


Upcoming SE Asia visits fuel expectations on China’s role

Upcoming SE Asia visits fuel expectations on China's role

President’s Bali, Bangkok trips seen as monumental in country’s diplomacy

President Xi Jinping’s upcoming trip to Southeast Asia for multilateral summits and bilateral talks has fueled expectations that China will play more important roles in improving global governance and offering solutions to key issues including climate change and food and energy security.

Xi will attend the 17th G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, from Monday to Thursday, before attending the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok and visiting Thailand from Thursday to Saturday, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The trip will also include a host of bilateral meetings, including talks scheduled with French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden.

Xu Liping, director of the Center of Southeast Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said one of the priorities during Xi’s trip to Bali and Bangkok could be laying out China’s solutions and Chinese wisdom regarding some of the most pressing global issues.

“China has emerged as a stabilizing force for the global economic recovery, and the nation should offer more confidence to the world in the context of a potential economic crisis,” he said.

The trip will be monumental in China’s diplomacy as it marks the first foreign visit by the nation’s top leader since the 20th CPC National Congress, which mapped out the nation’s development for the coming five years and beyond.

“It will be an occasion for the Chinese leader to put forward new plans and propositions in the nation’s diplomacy and, through positive engagement with leaders of other countries, advocate the building of a community with a shared future for mankind,” he said.

The presidents of China and the US will have their first sit-down since the beginning of the pandemic, and since Biden took office in January 2021.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said at a press briefing on Thursday that Xi and Biden’s meeting will be “an in-depth and substantive opportunity to better understand one another’s priorities and intentions, to address differences and to identify areas where we can work together”.

Oriana Skylar Mastro, a research fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, said the Biden administration would like to discuss issues like climate change and to create some basis for cooperation between China and the US.

“The hope is that this will stop the downward spiral in relations,” she said.

Xu said the international community has high expectations for this meeting given the importance of Beijing and Washington managing their differences, jointly responding to global challenges and upholding global peace and stability.

He added that communication between the two heads-of-state plays an important role in navigating and managing Sino-US ties.

Talking about China’s constructive role in the G20 and APEC, Xu said it is becoming increasingly prominent.

One of the three priorities for this year’s G20 Summit is digital transformation, an issue that was first proposed during the G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016, he said.

Post time: Nov-15-2022