Xi Jinping accuses the West of "suppression"
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has adopted an unusually sharp tone against the West. Led by the US, the Western countries have contained, encircled and suppressed China, he said on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress in Beijing, according to state news agency Xinhua. Commentators discuss what the remarks portend.
The kid gloves are off
Never before has President Xi been so direct in describing the US as China’s biggest rival, observes Večernji list:
“The Chinese president, from whom we normally hear ‘kid-gloved’ speeches and who has now formally become the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Tse Tung, could not have been more direct this time. ... Xi has criticised the West before, but never so openly and unequivocally.”
Beijing in a dilemma
Der Standard sees no end to China’s zig-zagging:
“For a long time, Beijing had one massive advantage: time. By 2030 at the latest, China would have replaced the US as the largest economy. Until then, it could have expanded foreign policy relations, increased military spending and waited until the next big financial crisis rocked its capitalist rival across the Pacific. ... Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put Beijing on the spot. It doesn’t want to side with Moscow and risk a conflict with the US. But taking a clear stance against Russia is not in line with the long-term goals of the Chinese Communist Party. The result is a fickle zigzag course that compromises its credibility in the West.”