China’s new foreign politics:
Xi Jinping’s universal rule by virtue?
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs
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Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China’s foreign politics
has taken a turn towards a more proactive approach, especially with a view to
facilitating China’s economic development through trade.
A new set of foreign policy concepts has emerged,
emphasizing China’s desire to build a "world truly shared by all” where peace,
cooperation and common prosperity reign. The concepts are meant to offer a
rhetoric-level challenge to the founding ideas of the Westphalian system and
the perceived dominance of the West.
The need to ensure economic growth and the desire to portray
oneself as a challenger to the West both arise from domestic politics, namely
safeguarding the legitimacy of the Communist Party. It is questionable whether
the two goals can be reconciled in the long term.
Xi has been making public appearances which make him seem
like a statesman and a strong leader even in the field of foreign relations.
Whether China’s foreign policy strategy is becoming more assertive as a result
remains to be seen, but at least before its centennial in 2021, the Party must
present itself as patriotic and unwaveringly dedicated to the restoration of