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Xi'an summit rebuts Western lies

Updated:2023-05-23 15:51:40


The just-concluded China-Central Asia Summit, held in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, has elevated China-Central Asian cooperation to new heights. In the 10th year of the Belt and Road Initiative, China and the Central Asian countries have cast their decisive vote to expand cooperation, especially in areas such as new energy and infrastructure development amid the fast-changing geopolitical landscape.

The Central Asia region, comprising upper-middle- and low-income economies, holds significant strategic importance due to its geographical position and natural resource reserves. Recognizing its vital importance, President Xi Jinping, in his keynote speech at the summit, said China is ready to align its development policies and plans with those of the five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and deepen cooperation to facilitate modernization and achieve common prosperity.

But despite the positive developments, many Western media outlets have been trying to politicize the summit. Even before the summit began, some Western media outlets tried to spark controversy by splashing headlines such as "Chinese-Russian competition in Central Asia", "China filling Russia's position in Central Asia", and "Russian-Central Asian relations deteriorating", implying that relations between China and Russia, and among China and Russia and the five Central Asian countries were deteriorating.

Needless to say, these are desperate attempts by the Western media to sow the seed of discord between China, Russia on the one side and the Central Asian countries on the other.

Given their narrow political goals, the Western media overlook the fact that China and Russia share a common interest in fostering regional stability and development. Cooperation between China, Russia and the Central Asian nations is mutually beneficial, not hegemonic.

Based on their economic interests, the Central Asian countries have ample reasons to pursue a comprehensive, diversified foreign policy, maintaining friendly relations with both China and Russia. The strong trade relations between the five Central Asian countries, and China and Russia prove that instead of deteriorating, overall relations among the seven countries are strengthening. The Central Asian countries import dozens of agricultural products including wheat, soybean, fruits and beef from China, with their trade volume reaching a record $70 billion last year.

Pursuing close cooperation with China and maintaining friendly relations with Russia are not contradictory, especially when China and Russia have become comprehensive strategic partners in the new era. According to National Bureau of Statistics data for 2022, the trade volume between China and Russia reached a historic high of $190.27 billion, with an annual growth rate of 29.3 percent.

Given these facts, relations between China, Russia and the Central Asian countries will not be shaken easily by Western propaganda.

Western media also argue that the fact that China hosted the China-Central Asia Summit around the same time as the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, shows it wants to compete with the developed economies on the diplomatic front.

The fact is that China's foreign diplomacy is based on the principle of "building a community with a shared future", which was first officially proposed at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012. The principle is aimed at fostering economic integration, cultural exchanges, and mutual growth and understanding. That explains why many are saying the decisions made at the Xi'an summit will help improve global connectivity and industrial cooperation.

The Xi'an summit could do so because, unlike the G7 Summit, it was not obsessed with political issues such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, although the United States' efforts to maintain its global hegemony have been affecting the Central Asian region and the rest of the world.

The G7 Summit is nothing but a political theatre staged by a small clique which excels in smearing China and Russia. A Chinese proverb, "never gauge the heart of a man with your own measure", best describes the G7 summit. The proverb cautions people against judging others based on one's narrow yardstick, and reminds them to refrain from projecting their own biases onto others, especially those with a higher moral character.

The China-Central Asia Summit is a platform for promoting regional cooperation and development in various fields, from infrastructure and energy to trade and cultural exchanges. As China continues to deepen its ties with the Central Asian countries, the Belt and Road Initiative plays a crucial role in enhancing regional development and economic integration.

The initiative has brought tangible benefits to the people of Central Asia. And the many infrastructure projects underway, including railways, highways and power plants, will bring more benefits to the region, especially because China has committed to providing the Central Asian countries with 26 billion yuan ($3.71 billion) in financing support and grants to bolster regional cooperation and development.

As for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, it can tap the Central Asian market by leveraging its strength as the world's largest offshore renminbi financial hub, and by offering the most diverse range of renminbi investment, financing, and risk management products. As such, Hong Kong should take measures to deepen its economic and trade engagement with the Central Asian countries.

In conclusion, the China-Central Asia Summit serves as a testament to China's commitment to regional cooperation and development. The summit will help maintain regional stability and promote common prosperity amid the changing global political landscape. In the face of Western media's divisive narratives that attempt to make the China-Central Asia Summit a political issue and create discord among the participating countries, China's actions to achieve common prosperity speak louder than words.