Xi Jinping against Canada’s Trudeau and the USA

Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau, Xi Jinping

China’s president reprimanded the Canadian head of government unusually sharply.

(Photo: via REUTERS)

Bangkok In the struggle between the USA and China for influence in Asia, Chinese head of state Xi Jinping warns of an escalation. During a visit to the Thai capital Bangkok, Xi demanded that the Asia-Pacific region should not become the scene of great power struggles. “Any attempt to politicize and weaponize economic and trade relations should be rejected by all,” Xi demanded.

Xi’s remarks the day before the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Community summit were apparently aimed at the US, which is banking on building an economic counterweight to the People’s Republic in countries neighboring China. China’s head of state called for resistance. The region must collectively “reject the Cold War mentality and the bloc confrontation,” he demanded, without naming the United States directly.

Xi originally intended to present his perspective on the great power conflict between the US and China in a keynote address to business leaders in Bangkok. At short notice, however, he canceled the appearance, which was supposed to take place after the G20 summit. However, the government in Beijing distributed the text of the speech in writing. Instead, Xi used his trip to the Thai metropolis on Thursday for a series of bilateral meetings, including with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Scandal with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Unlike a number of other heads of state and government, US President Joe Biden decided not to travel on from the G20 summit in Indonesia to the Apec summit in Thailand. He is represented by Vice President Kamala Harris, who wants to present America’s view of cooperation between the economic regions around the Pacific on Friday. Biden’s refusal to travel in person was met with disappointment from the hosts and, according to political observers, allows Xi to take up extra space at the meeting.

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Also present in Bangkok is Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was at the center of a diplomatic spat with Xi Jinping on Wednesday. In front of the television cameras, the otherwise extremely controlled appearance of Xi was visibly angry.

Antony Blink

The US Secretary of State wants to promote “tough competition” with China.

(Photo: dpa)

He blamed his Canadian counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 summit for leaking content from a meeting between the two politicians to the press. “Everything we discussed leaked to the press, it’s not appropriate,” Xi accused Trudeau through a translator. “And that’s not the way the conversation was conducted,” he added.

>> Watch the video: Xi accuses Trudeau of information piercing

Xi was probably referring to media reports that Trudeau allegedly complained of espionage and Chinese election interference at his meeting with the Chinese leader. China’s foreign ministry tried to downplay Xi’s unusually undiplomatic response on Thursday.

A spokesman said it was a normal, short conversation between the two politicians. “I don’t think this should be interpreted as Xi criticizing or blaming anyone.”

Demonstration in Bangkok

In the run-up to the summit, there were protests against the Chinese president.

(Photo: Reuters)

The incident provided a rare public glimpse into China’s tense relationship with the West. At a press conference in Bangkok, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that the Biden government intends to promote “violent competition” with China – but is working to ensure that this does not degenerate into a conflict. At the heart of Biden’s economic Asia strategy is the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” initiative, which aims, among other things, to strengthen supply chains with China’s neighboring countries.

In the course of the tensions with China, the USA recently imposed export restrictions on the Chinese chip industry, among other things, with the aim of denying the People’s Republic access to certain semiconductors.

Xi Jinping (centre), wife Peng Liyuan

Arrival of the Chinese President at Bangkok Airport.

(Photo: AP)

In his written speech in Bangkok, Xi warned: “Any attempt to disrupt or even smash the industrial and supply chains that have been built up over many years will lead economic cooperation to a dead end.”

Instead, Xi tried to promote his country as an economic role model for the region. “The modernization of China, a country of over 1.4 billion people, will be of epochal importance for human history,” he said in his speech.

“We will continue to focus on people and increase the standard of living.” He probably couldn’t convince everyone in Bangkok. On the fringes of the summit, there were protests by Thai democracy activists in the metropolis, which were also directed against Xi Jinping personally. A poster showed his photo, captioned: “Dictator out.”

More: ‘An Unnecessary Mistake’: US Leaving Stage to Xi Jinping

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