This article appears in the April 23, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
President Xi Attends Climate Summit with Macron and Merkel
President Xi Jinping participated in a video summit on April 16 at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron. Also participating was German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The meeting was a cordial discussion among the leaders on the climate issue as well as other issues of importance. During the summit, President Xi reiterated China’s commitment to achieve carbon emissions peak in 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060.
The trilateral summit called by the French President comes just a week before the “leaders’ summit” called by President Biden, to be held on April 22. President Xi was also invited to attend that summit, but has not replied to the American invitation. No doubt there is still a bitter after-taste from the Anchorage meeting, where China’s top diplomats, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi, met with U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken and NSC Adviser Jake Sullivan. On that occasion, they were greeted with sharp criticism regarding Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and human rights.
The Chinese side, somewhat taken aback by the breach of diplomatic protocol by their host country, responded in kind, but did not exit the meeting. But the damage had been done, and China is wary of any other similar “ambush” by a country that expects to be treated as an overlord.
John Kerry, Biden’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, could have trod a bit more lightly in his meeting with Xie Zhenhua in Shanghai on April 14, but he also shot off his mouth to the media prior to the meeting that China was not meeting its climate goals, as if the United States held the high ground in this respect. And this is supposed to be the area in which the United States wants to reach some agreement with China.
The Macron summit proposal was no doubt put forward with an eye on this predicament and perhaps to show the Chinese leader that the Western powers were not all in agreement with the type of bluster exhibited by the U.S. President. China will not stop building coal-fired power plants until 2030, and will only phase them out over decades as they bring more nuclear power plants on line, and potentially fusion power. Xi stressed to the two other leaders that mitigating climate change is the common cause of all mankind and should not be a bargaining chip for geopolitics, a target for attacking other countries, or an excuse for trade barriers, with which Macron and Merkel undoubtedly agreed.
The leaders also discussed the COVID crisis and the need for restoring health to the world economy as quickly as possible.
President Xi also underlined the need to avoid “vaccine nationalism” and expressed his willingness to work with the international community, including France and Germany, in order to help developing countries obtain vaccines in a timely manner. President Xi pointed out the importance of China-EU relations. While there has been some “push-back” from some European countries on the agreed China-EU investment treaty, based largely on totally bogus “human rights” issues about Xinjiang, France and Germany, as the most important members of the EU, could help to counter these “headwinds.”
Macron said that France is willing to strengthen cooperation with China on the equitable distribution of vaccines and is willing to strengthen coordination on regional issues such as the Iranian nuclear issue. Chancellor Merkel emphasized the important opportunities that China’s implementation of the 14th Five-Year Plan will bring to Germany-China and to EU-China cooperation, and expressed her willingness to deepen mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation with China.
While Evidence Abounds To Refute Lies About Xinjiang, the Lies Persist
There is an increasing density of Chinese and other journalists now in Xinjiang eager to refute the lies being spewed out in the Western media. China Global Television Network (CGTN) has a full team scouring Xinjiang and talking to people in the factories, in the schools, and in the cotton fields, to get real witness testimony about the reality in the autonomous region. After a major documentary on the origins of the terrorist threat in the region, CGTN has now launched a look at “The Land Beyond the Mountains,” with visits to different parts of this broad Western region.
But given that the Western media are not interested in the evidence but rather in pursuing the myths, the only effective means of countering the campaign is to strike at the rationale behind the campaign, namely a concerted effort on the part of Western intelligence services to destabilize China’s development through Xinjiang and Tibet. China’s Foreign Ministry has begun to take this tack in its re-airing of an interview by Lawrence Wilkerson, a former U.S. Army Colonel and aide to Colin Powell who, in a speech in 2018, noted that the U.S. remaining in Afghanistan was advantageous for using the Uighurs in any conflict with China.
Soon after the Wilkerson re-airing at the daily briefing, the Foreign Ministry also aired an interview with Sibel Edmonds, a former translator for the FBI. Edmonds revealed that the CIA, through Turkey, would bring Uighurs out of Xinjiang, give them terrorist training, and then send them back to Xinjiang to conduct destabilizations.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian on April 14 also reported on a series of exposés published by the Australian Citizens Party (ACP) on the history of the destabilization operations by the U.S. since the end of the Afghanistan War. See the ACP Special Report, “Xinjiang: China’s Western Frontier in the Heart of Eurasia.”
People’s Bank Calls for Scrapping Limits on Births
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has called on the Chinese government to completely abolish limits on births in order to increase the younger population, to maintain economic competitiveness. The recommendations were issued in a report by the PBOC at the end of March. There have been numerous calls for scrapping birth limitation policies over the last few years, and the limit on births had been relaxed from two to three children in some regions. But this measure is a significant organizational push by the PBOC to eliminate controls entirely, although it’s not entirely clear that even abolition of the policy will lead to bigger families without significant child-support policies.
“We should not hesitate and wait for the effects of existing birth policies,” researchers said in a working paper dated late March and published on the bank’s website on April 14: “The birth liberalization should happen now when there are some residents who still want to have children but can’t. It’s useless to liberalize it when no one wants to have children.”
The demographic dilemma has been hotly debated recently and the demographic pressure of an aging population will no doubt have long-term effects if it is not reversed. However, the Chinese economy has been heavily reliant on productivity increases due to advances in technology. That emphasis has been enhanced and strengthened in the recent 14th Five-Year Plan. It is also a primary ingredient of the rural revitalization, which will also serve as a growth factor independent of the demographic issue. China still has a large pool of workers in the countryside who have heretofore served largely as unskilled labor. There will now be a clear shift to transform them into skilled laborers in order to accomplish another increase in the economy’s productivity. President Xi Jinping has personally launched a major campaign for the establishment of vocational schools to raise the skill level of China’s workers and that of new recruits to the urban industrial sector from the countryside.
Will Japan Become a Stooge for Biden’s Attempt To Contain China?
President Joe Biden welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on April 16, on the first visit by a head of government to meet with the recently elected American president. The visit will be watched very closely, as Japan is designated for a special role in Biden’s attempt to contain China.
A prime member of the Quad grouping, which is the main instrument for bringing the pressure of various countries to bear on the China front, Suga is also scheduled to visit India and the Philippines immediately afterwards, no doubt to discuss Biden’s latest proposal for limiting China’s growing influence.
For Japan, however, this is a very dangerous game. Not only is much of its future prosperity linked to the growing Chinese market, but if economic warfare against China leads to military conflict, Japan would be on the front lines.