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    Chinese President Xi Jinping watches during a gift handover ceremony at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 18, 2017

    On Top of the World: China Claims to Lead the Globe While US Gives the Ground

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    Commenting on the keynote speech of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which he delivered at the United Nations in Geneva at the end of a diplomatic tour to Switzerland portraying China as a global leader, Russian political scientists explained to Sputnik why it is only too logical for Beijing to declare itself a global power.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping has wrapped up his diplomatic tour to Switzerland, which included a landmark address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, just days ahead of Donald Trump's swearing in as the 45th president of the US.

    Many international experts noted that Xi Jinping's speech at the United Nations in Geneva on Wednesday portrayed his home country as the leader of a globalized world, where only international cooperation could solve the big problems.

    In his address at the UN's Palais des Nations (Palace of Nations), the Chinese leader said that in the coming five years, China will import $8 trillion in goods, attract $600 billion in foreign investment, make foreign investments totaling $750 billion, and that Chinese tourists will make 700 million outbound visits.

    "All this will bring more development opportunities to other countries,” Xi explained.

    The Chinese leader also assured that China is committed to upholding world peace: "no matter how strong its economy grows, China will never seek hegemony, expansion or a sphere of influence. History has borne this out and will continue to do so."

    He also urged big countries to treat smaller countries as equals "instead of acting as hegemons, imposing their will on others."

    "No country should open Pandora’s Box by willfully waging wars or undermining the international rule of law," he added.

    Alexei Mukhin, Director of the Center of Political Information in Moscow told Sputnik why it is only too logical for Beijing to declare itself a global power.

    "The US has evidently lost its leadership in the world due to the presidency of Obama, as well as due to a whole range of mistakes made by the American establishment, including those in the Middle East and in its relationship with China," he told Sputnik.

    "This has logically prompted China to proclaim itself a global power. And if before these ambitions hadn't been loudly voiced, it was an internal Chinese business, then now, judging by Xi Jinping's visit to Davos and by other signs shown by the Chinese government, it appears that China has made an appeal for global leadership," he explained.

    Alexei Mukhin further elaborated about how the US should respond. Donald Trump, he said, is already trying to respond to China's claim that it leads the world, and it looks like the Chinese-American relationship is going to undergo certain turbulence.

    However, he said, the two countries still seem to be on the negotiating track. Hence, he suggested, there won't be a conflict which many anticipate. However, there is likely to be a division of spheres of influence between China and the US.

    During his visit to Switzerland, the Chinese president also announced his decision to provide an additional 200 million yuan ($29 mln) of humanitarian assistance to displaced refugees from Syria.

    The day breaks behind the White House in Washington,DC
    © AFP 2019 / PAUL J. RICHARDS
    “As terrorism and the refugee crises are closely linked to geopolitical conflicts, resolving conflicts provides the fundamental solution to such problems,” Xi then said.

    Commenting on the above announcement, Russian military and defense analyst Vladimir Evseev told Sputnik that the fact that such a decision was voiced within the UN means that China has outlined the basic and irreplaceable role of the UN in the settlement of the Syrian conflict.

    "China has sensed an opportunity for the peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict," he said.

    "Beijing is eager to take part in the settlement of the Syrian crisis as a key player, hence it is now undertaking certain efforts," he added.

    The defense analyst further explained that China has been holding out for a long time, not sure that Russia's efforts in Syria could yield success.

    The turning point in this situation has become the liberation of Aleppo, as well as Russia's agreement with Turkey. With the upcoming peace talks in Astana, China has decided to provide support for the settlement of the Syrian crisis in the form of aid to Syrian refugees.

    "I think what we see here is a turning point in China's attitude towards the Syrian crisis," Evseev told Sputnik.

    "It looks like from now on, China will be more active in the peace process. First of all, economically and politically. China wants to have more initiative in the settlement of the Syrian crisis to be able to endure the 'most favorable conditions' for Chinese business conditions in the restoration of Syria," he said.

    The defense analyst further explained that before the crisis, China had controlled a considerable part of Syria's oil and gas network. It would certainly like to further control it. There might also be certain economic interests, he suggested.

    "In other words, China has made a principled decision on its active involvement in the settlement of the Syrian crisis, both politically and economically," he therefore stated.

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    Tags:
    global leadership, Syrian settlement, Syrian ceasefire, Syrian conflict, United Nations, Vladimir Evseev, Alexei Mukhin, Xi Jinping, United States, Russia, Syria, Switzerland, China
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