by Will Lloyd
Monday, 25
January 2021

Xi Jinping addresses Davos — from a parallel universe

The Chinese president made no mention of his country's pandemic response
by Will Lloyd

The last time China’s Xi Jinping addressed the World Economic Forum at Davos, Donald Trump was days away from becoming President, and a lockdown was defined as ‘the confinement of prisoners to their cells for all or most of the day’ — not a public health policy invented in China. 

In the four years since, Trump has come and gone, legal freedoms have been restricted in Hong Kong, countries have begun to label China’s persecution of its Uyghur minority as a genocide, and a pandemic born in Wuhan has changed the meaning of the word lockdown for good. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Xi’s keynote speech did not mention Hong Kong, or the Uyghurs; there was no mention of the role China’s secretive and clumsy response in Wuhan played in allowing Covid-19 to become a global disaster. 

Instead, Xi delivered a paean to multilateralism, the benefits of globalisation, and the dangers of ‘ideological prejudice’. He called for a strengthening of the UN, the WHO, and other organs of global governance. 

That national borders are strengthening by the day and the globalist utopia looks more distant than ever wasn’t deemed worth mentioning. China’s president, much like his Davos audience, seemed to be inhabiting a parallel universe. 

“Guided by science, reason and humanitarian spirit, the world has achieved initial progress in fighting Covid-19,” President Xi said.

Much of the speech — which will have thrilled Xi’s hosts at the WEF — was devoted to repudiating a caricature of Donald Trump’s foreign policy approach. To start a new Cold War, to reject or threaten others, to wilfully impose supply disruption or sanctions, to create isolation, will only push the world into “division” and “confrontation”, Xi said. 

His characterisation of China’s influence in world affairs might have been said of a Scandinavian social democracy or a Barack Obama post-Presidency workshop. Now that is has developed into a “modern socialist country,” China will work with other countries to build “an open, inclusive, peaceful and beautiful world” of “lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.”

This year’s Davos motto is: ‘A Crucial Year to Rebuild Trust’. After a year in which WEF founder, Klaus Schwab became the object of a vast online conspiracy based on his book, ‘The Great Reset’, rebuilding trust is an understandable goal. But it is hard to conclude that the best way to assuage fears that Western elites are cosying up to China and imposing new ways of life on their populations was to invite the Chinese President to deliver the keynote address, and bookend it with fawning praise from Mr Schwab himself.

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  • China’s Xi Jinping would be persona non grata in my book. I hold the China party partly accountable for ruining the western economies. But then again, I hold a grudge, lol.

  • Where to begin?! That is the simple truth of the matter.
    We look back with curious amusement/shock at the archaic notion of aristocratic monopolies and their disgusting excess and lavish expenditure. However the media lauds the new elites for their wealth and industrious nature because they publicly conform to the neo-liberalisms of the prevalent *ideology*. This was much the same as displayed by the aristocratic elites to the church and wherein were lauded as ‘defenders of the *faith*’ and anointed by God.

    Modern capitalism often expounds the works of the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher / proto economist; Adam Smith for their guiding principles. However were one to actually read the Wealth of Nations it is quite clear that this apocryphal tale warns of the potentials for greed / corruption if the free market is allowed to run without clear regulatory and moral oversight.
    The alignment of the *powerful* with *ideology / faith* is as old as civilisation itself. It invariably masks the wanton greed and hegemony of the few over the many. In many ways it is the very essence of the darker side of human nature. Invariably the need to cloak this in a more pious and pure motivation is endemic. Terms such as faithful, enlightened, progressive and woke being a few examples.

    One of the more pervasive methods in these control mechanisms is the needs to mobilise malcontents and angry individuals who you can manipulate to achieve your goals of hegemony. Hence the long history of pogroms, inquisitions and persecution of those who do not align or present an alternative viewpoint. It is the great irony of our times that the adherents of the new politically correct ideology eschew and decry the oppression of the 20th Century; Stalinist, Nazi, Maoist thought police while indulging in the very same behaviours.

    Throughout time the alignment of Academia / Religion / Media / Elites have sought to bend the will of the people for their own nefarious goals. It is simply the way of humanity. Simply transpose the above for Church / Ideology / Bible / Aristocracy and the correlation is clear. Even pre-history is replete with similar patterns of shamans, holy men, druids etc. Propaganda and Power walk hand in hand. Ideology is their path.
    Another basic tenant of ideology is the suppression of obvious truths which are deemed contrary to the needs and wants of the power hungry. To have a ‘bad man’ do bad things takes opportunity, to have a ‘good man’ do bad things takes ideology / religion. The vilification and dehumanisation of the non-conformist is step one. The expedient of re-education is step two usually swiftly followed by the persecution of same. For those who find these actions unsettling the great refrain of “for the better good of all” is the usual soothing panacea for those of conscience who may be tempted to ‘break ranks’.

    For those readers who are confused and are wondering regards my own particular standpoint; the simple truth is I am neither left nor right, I am a humanist and centrist. I watch with weary acceptance the repetition of the same patterns which have governed our past and will no doubt be repeated in the future.

    However as such I note a word of caution: All of these constucted regimes end the same way; division breeds polarisation and ever increasing levels of alienation which in turn ends in violent revolution from the silent majority (who invariably then; over time become the new elites). Just ask the Chinese capitalist / communists / WEF / WTO / Davos etc..etc…

    To behold the leader of a one party Communist state laud the virtues of Liberal Capitalism borders on the farcical. To see those same guardians of free trade applaud and venerate this should create a great sense of unease in all of us.

    The vast majority of modern media indulges this division for clicks and views *Bread & Circuses*. Many of these outlets are controlled by Corporates or Ideologies (or both; a marriage of convenience) It is simply a distraction from the inequities of society by and for the ones who have and control the wealth, left or right , Marxist or Capatalist the motivation and methodology is the same.

    *Bread and Circuses* (or bread and games; from Latin: panem et circenses) is a metonymic phrase referring to superficial appeasement. and is used commonly in cultural, particularly political, contexts.

    Let the games begin! are you enjoying your bread? 🙂

  • What, in the same way as Ireland was seen as part of the UK?
    Taiwan was recognised as a colony of Japan in the late 19th century, after a couple of centuries of Qing rule, following on from the Portuguese and Dutch. Taiwan was never part of the PRC. China is a big enemy because, suddenly, it’s rich and powerful enough again to think it can expand where it wants. Ask the Tibetans, the Indians, the Vietnamese and in fact just about any country with a coast in the South China sea.

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