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China’s Global Civilization Initiative Is Its Response To The West’s Liberal-Globalism
China has now decided to enter into an entente with Russia aimed at forming a dual pole of influence amidst the impending trifurcation of International Relations in order for those two to more effectively compete with the US-led West’s Golden Billion. This of course also includes the ideational domain, thus explaining the precise timing behind China’s extended explanation of its multipolar conservative-sovereigntist worldview, which predictably aligns with Russia’s Global Revolutionary Manifesto from last year.
The New Cold War over the global systemic transition is highly chaotic and full of complexity, yet it can nevertheless be simplified along two axes, the geopolitical and ideational. The first refers to the impending trifurcation of International Relations between the US-led West’s Golden Billion, the Sino-Russo Entente, and the informally Indian-led Global South, while the latter concerns the unipolar liberal-globalist (ULG) and multipolar conservative-sovereigntist (MCS) worldviews.
It's the ideational axis that forms of the focus of the present analysis, particularly the details of China’s newly articulated MCS vision as embodied in the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) that President Xi unveiled last week during the Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting. In order to better understand this concept, it’s important to briefly review exactly what ULG and MCS are since there are still some misunderstandings pertaining to their primary pillars.
ULG wants to reverse the West’s declining hegemony (unipolarity), considers it immoral to impose social restrictions of any kind or follow a different political system (liberalism), and believes in the inevitability of everyone else embracing the aforesaid whether via attraction, coercion, or force (globalism). It forms the unofficial ideology of the majority of those countries that comprise the Golden Billion, which also finance agents of influence under the cover of “NGOs” to push ULG onto foreign societies.
By contrast, MCS want to make International Relations more equitable (multipolarity), believe that some social restrictions like those against the LGBT+ propaganda are in the majority’s best interests (conservativism), and support the right of all states to implement their own political and socio-economic models that align with their historical national conditions (sovereigntism). Most non-Western states practice MCS, and a growing number of folks in the West are nowadays attracted to this worldview too.
It's within this ideational context that President Xi just unveiled the GCI, which was clearly influenced by China’s MCS approach to the global systemic transition as evidenced by some of the top points that he made in his keynote speech. What follows are relevant excerpts in support of this observation, which are being shared for the purpose of informing the reader about the connection between the MCS worldview and China’s GCI:
“Modernization is not only about indicators and statistics on the paper but more about the delivery of a happy and stable life for the people. With a focus on the people's aspirations for a better life and further progress of civilization, political parties should strive to achieve material abundance, political integrity, cultural-ethical enrichment, social stability, and pleasant living environments so that modernization will better address the concerns and meet diversified needs of the people.
In this way, modernization will promote the sustainable development of humanity by not only increasing the wellbeing of this generation but also protecting the rights and interest of future generations. We must uphold the principle of independence and explore diversified paths towards modernization. Modernization is not ‘an exclusive patent’ of a small handful of countries, nor is it a single answer question. It cannot be realized by a cookie cutter approach or simple ‘copy and paste’.
For any country to achieve modernization, it needs not only to follow the general laws governing the process, but more importantly consider its own national conditions and unique features. It is the people of a country that are in the best position to tell what kind of modernization best suits them. Developing countries have the right and ability to independently explore the modernization path with their distinctive features based on their national realities.
We must develop our country and our nation with our own strength, and we must maintain a firm grasp on the future of our country's development and progress. We should respect and support the development paths independently chosen by different peoples to jointly usher in a new prospect for humanity's modernization that is like a garden where a hundred flowers bloom. We must uphold fundamental principles and break new ground and ensure the continuity of the modernization process.
Around the world, countries and regions have chosen different paths to modernization, which are rooted in their unique and long civilizations. All civilizations created by human society are splendid. They are where each country's modernization drive draws its strength and where its unique feature comes from. They, transcending time and space, have jointly made important contribution to humanity's modernization process.
We advocate the respect for the diversity of civilizations. Countries need to uphold the principles of equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness among civilizations, and let cultural exchanges transcend estrangement, mutual learning transcend clashes, and coexistence transcend feelings of superiority. We advocate the common values of humanity. Peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom are the common aspirations of all peoples.
Countries need to keep an open mind in appreciating the perceptions of values by different civilizations, and refrain from imposing their own values or models on others and from stoking ideological confrontation. We advocate the importance of inheritance and innovation of civilizations. Countries need to fully harness the relevance of their histories and cultures to the present times, and push for creative transformation and innovative development of their fine traditional cultures.”
While China had previously made its opposition to ULG known, it hadn’t yet articulated the difference between its MCS worldview and the West’s ULG one in detail until now. The timing isn’t coincidental since it was prompted by the failure of the “New Détente” after early February’s balloon incident, which put an end to President Xi’s hopes of negotiating a series of mutual compromises with the US aimed at establishing a “new normal” in their ties and thus hopefully restoring a sense of stability to global affairs.
With those two giants now placed on the irreversible trajectory of increasingly intense competition in all domains, it therefore made sense for China to explain the differences between their worldviews in detail as part of its campaign to win more hearts and minds across the world. The People’s Republic previously held back from doing so, at least to this extent, due to concerns that it would reinforce perceptions of them being the primary protagonists in the New Cold War.
That could in turn lead to public support in the West for the US subsequently weaponizing China’s complex economic, financial, and technological interdependence with the Golden Billion for zero-sum purposes aimed at restoring its declining unipolar hegemony despite the mutually detrimental costs. As was proven by the precedent recently established in EU-Russian relations, most Westerners are willing to sacrifice in pursuit of what they’re misled by the US to believe is the so-called “greater moral good”.
Doing anything that could inadvertently feed into America’s information warfare campaign against China, like compellingly articulating the difference between those two’s worldviews in detail, hitherto ran the risk of accelerating the aforesaid scenario. Considering this, the fact that President Xi just did precisely that at this moment in time very strongly suggests that the Chinese leadership concluded that the previously warned weaponization of between their country and the West is a fait accompli.
The preceding insight corroborates the observation that China has now decided to enter into an entente with Russia aimed at forming a dual pole of influence amidst the impending trifurcation of International Relations in order for those two to more effectively compete with the West. This of course also includes the ideational domain, thus explaining the precise timing behind China’s extended explanation of its MCS worldview, which predictably aligns with Russia’s Global Revolutionary Manifesto from last year.