ABC of President Xi’s diplomacy in ‘U for unprecedented’ Chinese propaganda

  • Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing
  • Updated: Jun 29, 2016 23:52 IST
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint news briefing with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing on June 25. (Reuters)

President Xi Jinping’s philosophy behind international diplomacy has been distilled into an “A to Z” by Chinese state media, detailing his pet projects and his aims for “major-country” relationships with nations such as the US.

Each of the powerful president’s aims and objectives has been crystallised to coincide with a letter of the alphabet, adding another layer to the cult of personality that is carefully being cultivated around Xi.

They are being described as the “26 key words or phrases that relate to this new style of diplomacy”.

The official Xinhua news agency reported: “A major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics has taken shape since Xi Jinping became the top leader in late 2012.”

This class for diplomacy – “X” for “Xi-style” – begins predictably with “A” for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and “B” for Xi’s pet “Belt and Road Initiative”.

“The Belt and Road initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was first promulgated by Xi in 2013, who envisioned a trade and infrastructure network that connects Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes,” the state media explained.

“Over 70 countries and organisations have voiced support for and willingness to join the initiative,” it said.

With “C” for “climate change”, it said China will “cut its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60 to 65% by 2030 from the 2005 levels…and peak carbon emissions by 2030”.

There is no “I” for India or “N” for the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the body controlling access to sensitive atomic technology that was at the centre of bilateral tensions over New Delhi’s application to join the elite club.

The closest this iteration of Xi’s diplomacy gets to India is “N” for “neighbourhood diplomacy”.

“In October 2013, Xi proposed a new philosophy of neighborhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. He stressed that the Chinese Dream should chime with similar visions of neighbouring countries; planting the seeds of a community of common destiny into the region,” the report said.

Not all the letters of the alphabet could be happily married to the Xi-style diplomacy and the most diplomatically awkward was saved for last.

“Z”, it seems, stands for “Zero-sum Game, No!”

It apparently means World War II has taught the world that “winner-takes-it-all or zero-sum mindsets contradict coexistence, peace and development”.

This wasn’t the first time Chinese authorities have tried to make Xi’s diplomacy easily accessible to the masses.

In February, Xinhua released an animated video of a bald man dancing and rapping Xi’s signature ideological slogan of “Four Comprehensives”. Woven into the song were the lines “Moderate prosperity is the goal”, “Reform is the driving force”, “The rule of law is guaranteed” and “Building the Party is the key”.

No wonder “I” stands for “Innovation” among the 26 new keywords for Xi’s diplomacy.

Read: India, China should appropriately address differences: Xi Jinping

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