tirsdag 3. august 2021

Xi Jinping Is Using Party Outreach to Build an Anti-U.S. Bloc

On July 6, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a keynote speech at the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and World Political Parties Summit, proclaiming the CCP “is willing to continue to work with parties and political organizations of all countries.” As with other Beijing-led forums, the CCP is using this summit as an opportunity to promote its own foreign-policy objectives, including creating a less liberal democratic world order. But Xi’s messaging at the summit, now held for the fourth time, has evolved; whereas before it focused on cooperation and development, today China is looking to build a political bloc directed against the United States and other liberal democracies.

The CCP and World Political Parties Summit targets foreign political parties, whether in power or not. Attendees included former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Argentine President Alberto Fernández. This effort to engage at the national and subnational political level is a potentially potent tool for the CCP. The annual summit—with representatives from more than 600 political parties and organizations around the world—provides the CCP a venue where it can control the agenda, discourage foreign criticism of the party, and establish and deepen connections on its own terms with international political parties. Xi’s personal participation and the summit’s institutionalization demonstrate the importance the CCP places on the meeting.