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Chinese President Xi Jinping this week declared his country the leader not just of the world but of socialist nations as he criticized other nations that abandoned socialism for the “Western model.”
“Many developing countries look at China with envy and want to learn about our governance experience. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has become the standard-bearer of 21st-century socialist development,” Xi wrote in an article published Wednesday in Qiushi, the party’s most authoritative theoretical journal.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) met this week in Uzbekistan to further solidify ties between Asian nations that seek to curb Western influence on the continent, but it coincides with the run-up to the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party on Oct. 16, during which the party will confirm Xi for an unprecedented third term, the South China Morning Post reported.
“The Eurasian continent is home to us all,” Xi said in his speech in Uzbekistan. “Upholding its peace and development is the shared goal of countries both in our region and the world at large, and the SCO shoulders an important responsibility in meeting this goal.”
Both the article and speech seek to lay out Xi’s vision for his nation. He claimed that China has the “responsibility, capability and confidence to make historic contributions to the progress of scientific socialism” as the nation charts its own course.
“Our destiny lies in the path we select. If we take the wrong path, we will not achieve our goals and may even break the great rejuvenation of Chinese civilization,” Xi wrote.
He insisted that China’s success “proves” that “socialism is not dead” and prevented a “long dark age.”
“Just imagine this: had socialism failed in China, had our communist party collapsed like the party in the Soviet Union, then global socialism would lapse into a long dark age,” he wrote. “And communism, like Karl Marx once said, would be a haunting specter lingering in limbo.”
In his speech to the SCO, Xi pointed to five “practices” the member states needed for continued “success”: Political trust, “win-win” cooperation, equality among nations, openness and inclusiveness and equality and justice. The SCO, started by China and Russia, this year approved Iran’s application to become a member state, while China continues to downplay its actions against its Muslim Uyghur population.
But it was the goals for future endeavors that warranted the most attention, namely the “need to expand security cooperation” to deal with the “complex and challenging development environment both at home and abroad.”
“The Global Security Initiative put forward by China is to address the peace deficit and global security challenges,” Xi said. “It calls on all countries to stay true to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture.”
“We welcome all stakeholders to get involved in implementing this initiative,” he urged.