Home Asia Boao Forum for Asia 2021: China Expresses Discontentment With the Global Order

Boao Forum for Asia 2021: China Expresses Discontentment With the Global Order

The Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 was held in Hainan, a coastal town in South China from 18-21 April 2021. The forum aims at regional collaboration to amplify sustainable development and economic growth. This year, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a keynote speech at the inaugural session of the Conference.

Chinese President in his address, spoke of China’s role in promoting regional cooperation in Asia to match the developments in the world. He described the current situation in the world as fluid and in the transformation phase. He urged countries all over the world to strengthen global governance and defeat the COVID 19 pandemic through solidarity. In addition to the call for a strong global governance system, President Xi also hinted the need for an egalitarian order. He also insisted that the world did not have any space for hegemony. He disregarded the recently speculated “Cold War” and spoke of how states need to refrain from interfering in the domestic politics of other’s countries.

President Xi absolutely denied Chinese intentions of expansionism, hegemonic tendencies or engaging in an arms race. As he requested countries all over the world to come together to contribute to the world peace and development and follow the path set forth by China. The speech did not mention explicitly of the existing global dynamics which has an anti-China mood in the western world. However, it did drop hints that China was looking out for a global order based on equality and did not appreciate any interventions. This could refer to the international criticism of the Chinese policies in Hong Kong as well as against the Uighur muslims. The United States and other western countries continue to condemn China’s human rights violations in the two cases and have accuse the latter of ignoring the civil rights and the basic tenets of democracy.

China continues to make its powerful presence felt in the international politics by means of its Belt and Road Initiative, naval exercises in trying to define the boundaries, agreement with the ‘rogue’ states like Iran and its disregard for the other countries’ preferences. Despite President Xi’s repeated calls for an egalitarian order, it seems unlikely that the other countries will be willing to trust China. In addition to the economic might that the country enjoys, its delay in announcing the details of the Coronavirus leak has led many to doubt its intentions. This speech came after the joint statement released by the envoys of the two countries that vouched for cooperative efforts on multilateral issues including climate change. At the Boao Forum for Asia, Chinese President did speak of contributing to a world order that was a combined effort of all the countries and respected wishes of all. This proves that China too is unhappy with the current situation. However, leap of trust on any end will be extraordinary.