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Home / World / Weakened by the trade war, Xi returns to the security conference to woo Modi and Putin

Weakened by the trade war, Xi returns to the security conference to woo Modi and Putin

Less than a week later, the United States first imposed tens of billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods, triggering a worldwide trade war between the two largest economies in the world.

On Friday, Xi returns to the SCO under significantly different circumstances.

More than ever, the Chinese head of state will need to consolidate relations with allies in an escalating trade war with the administration of President Donald Trump and a slowing domestic economy.

The Kyrgyz capital Bishkek is expected to meet its "best and most friendly" Russian leader Vladimir Putin and newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has just returned from his landslide victory in May.

While it is reasonable to believe that Xi seeks their approval and support, China's relatively weak position also increases the bargaining power of other SCO participants.

  Chinese President Xi Jinping with other world leaders at the 1[ads1]8th Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on June 10, 2018, in Qingdao, China.

"It gives all these countries the opportunity to see if they can actually get something out of the Chinese," said Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at SOAS University of London.

"You see, Xi Jinping is probably a little more vulnerable than a year ago."

Supporting Allies

Founded in 2001 as a center for resolving border disputes in Central Asia The annual SCO has grown rapidly in terms of both membership and scope.

According to Chinese state media, the eight permanent members – China, Russia, India, Pakistan and four Central Asian states – account for "nearly half of the world's population and over 20% of global gross domestic product (GDP)."

As a result, that is Forum for members to become an important place to clarify security and economic issues in the region.

"If you have a (economic) decoupling between the US and China in a globalized world, you want more allies on your side than on the other side, even if they are not formal allies, but countries, who are willing to work with you, "Tsang said.

With Putin and Xi reaffirming their close relationship in Russia this month, the Chinese head of state is likely to turn his attention to modes.
China and India often had a dubious relationship In 2017, there are fierce clashes on the Himalayan border near Bhutan. However, over the past two years, in light of the growing setback from the United States, Xi and Modi have sought to strengthen relations, including meeting at an informal summit in Wuhan in April 2018.

"The Chinese want to see their economic situation Relations with India are increasing, especially if Indians could use Huawei technology for their 5G network, "Tsang said. "It would certainly be very useful for the Chinese government to get Huawei as an alternative to the West."

Earlier this month, Huawei signed a contract with Russia's largest telecommunications operator, MTS, to develop 5G technologies and open a fifth-generation network in Russia within the next year.

Unlike in the West, where there are security concerns about Huawei In India, the authorities have met little resistance to the participation of Chinese technology companies in the country's 5G infrastructure.

Modi has generally announced that it is open to foreign companies investing in the Indian economy.

Foreign direct investment in India rose from less than $ 25 billion in 2014 – before Modi came to power – to around $ 45 billion in the past fiscal year.

A big success story was the smartphone industry, which has helped spur the boom in India's digital economy. China's Xiaomi has tripled its number of smartphone factories in India in recent years and is now well on its way to becoming the country's market leader.

Although China is India's largest trading partner, its estimated US $ 84 billion bilateral trade in 2017/18 was only a fraction of the US-China trade volume of nearly $ 600 billion.

Belt and Road [19659011] Many key members of Beijing's flagship Belt and Road initiative, which aims to export Chinese trade, goods and influence around the world, will also participate in the SCO, which is the launch of the Event for the Chinese government is increasingly important.

"It's the safety" arm of the belt and the road, "said Richard McGregor, senior fellow at the Sydney Lowy Institute." It's a means for the Chinese, so to speak, to hedge the backcountry to gain more military experience and theirs

The Belt and the Road are Xi's massive infrastructure measures designed to promote trade corridors by rail, road and ports between China, Europe, the Middle East and the rest of Asia.

A key component of the Silk Road Economic Belt runs through Central Asia.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Central Asian countries have difficulties integrating fully with the global economy, promising large-scale Chinese infrastructure investments – including the creation of massive railways that connect Western Europe to Central Asia via China – has to be to strengthen relations and promote China as a reliable regional partner.

Before the forum on Friday, Chinese state media wanted to market the achievements of politics.

"The BRI, now in its sixth year, can show members of the SCO both the" belt "of security and the" way "of development in the face of increasing trade protectionism and economic nationalism in order to achieve lasting stability and shared prosperity." said the state press Xinhua.

The Belt and the Road also help to bolster China's policies in Xinjiang, a region in the far west of China that borders on several Central Asian countries, where up to 2 million ethnic Uighurs, according to the US State Department , Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other predominantly Muslim minority groups have been held against their will in massive camps.

In March of this year, a prominent human rights activist and Kazakhstan-based China critic was arrested by the Kazakh police and accused of inciting ethnic conflict.

However, China is facing increasing rebound from partner countries globally across the belt and the road, including allegations of inappropriate debt and impractical projects.

Tsang said that on Friday and Saturday, Xi will face complaints from Central Asian countries about their dissatisfaction with the cost of the belt and road projects and their associated mountain debts.

"The Chinese like to say it's 'Win Win', but it could be a loss for large projects that are not responsible for the recipient country not being able to pay back," Tsang said.

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