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China will take a more active role in world problems, Xi Jinping says

But it won’t expect other countries to follow its model, Chinese president tells global conference in Beijing

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 10:57pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 December, 2017, 12:51pm

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday the Communist Party would take a more active role in tackling world problems, but it would refrain from exporting the “China model”.

Speaking to representatives of nearly 300 overseas political groups in Beijing, Xi said the party would be proactive in solving difficulties faced by the international community, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“[China] will proactively push forward the construction of a global network of partners and will proactively push for political solutions for international hot issues and difficult problems,” Xi said during his opening speech at a multi-party conference hosted by China.

“We do not import foreign models, and we do not export the China model, either,” he said. “We will not require other countries to copy what we do.”

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The conference – officially named the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting – is the first such event held by Beijing, which has been seeking to expand its global influence under Xi’s rule.

The party has yet to disclose the full list of attendees, but its International Liaison Department said political parties and organisations from more than 120 countries had signed up for the meeting.

Many of the attendees come from Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Africa, including Myanmar’s civilian leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Republican Party in the US and Russian ruling party United Russia also sent representatives, Xinhua reported.

Xi said the Chinese Communist Party would step up communications with overseas political groups and enable 15,000 of their members to visit China for inter-party exchanges in the coming five years.

He also suggested making the conference a regular event.

“China will actively take part in reforming and constructing the global governance system, and ensuring the world political and economic order develops in a more just and reasonable direction,” he said.

Guo Yezhou, deputy head of the liaison department, said last week that the event had been organised in response to international requests for “in-depth knowledge” about the 19th party congress in October and Xi’s political ideology, which was enshrined in the party charter.

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On Friday morning, attendees were invited to tour the Central Party School and visit an exhibition of the achievements of Xi’s administration in the past five years, state media reported.

Over the weekend, they will attend a seminar on the 19th party congress and hold meetings on the “Belt and Road Initiative” and “building a community of common destiny for mankind” – a slogan used in Xi’s foreign policy.

Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has been pushing to expand China’s influence abroad and achieve “national rejuvenation”.

Xi has stepped up efforts to boost ties with developing countries through his ambitious belt and road plan, which covers infrastructure investment, trade and cultural exchanges.

And as US President Donald Trump takes a protectionist stance, Xi has emerged as an advocate for globalisation and a defender of the Paris climate change agreement.

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Under Xi, Beijing has been more assertive in territorial disputes with its neighbours, but it is also becoming more vocal in issues involving other regions such as the Syrian crisis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But China’s growing prominence on the world stage has also raised concerns about its influence overseas and has been the subject of debate in countries including Australia and the United States. The US Congress was last month urged to require Chinese state media to register staff as foreign agents, who were accused of involvement in spying and propaganda.