Interview with Emanuel Pastreich
Director of the Asia Institute
October 18, 2017
CGNT (China Global Network Television)
On the 19th Communist Party Congress and President Xi Jinping’s Speech
“Of course, Xi Jinping elaborated on Chinese foreign policy towards Asian neighbors. Which issues stood out most to you and do you have any fresh insights?”
“I can tell you what was most striking. President Xi did not criticize any other nations. He did not speak about wars, or even competition. He gave hope and an opportunity for cooperation. He suggested a new vision for the world, for Asia, starting from the One Belt; One Belt Initiative. His proposal was that the ultimate focus was on each nation’s potential
He said that China offered potential models in its past and in its present, but that each country had its unique qualities that also should be respected.
And I was most impressed when he said, “the political advancement of mankind,” which suggested an idealism that in many countries has been lost over the last few decades and it is very, very far from “America first.”
Finally I was impressed by his emphasis on science and on scientific inquiry, on addressing poverty and addressing climate change, and on global collaboration which was the original purpose of the World Bank and the United Nations, but we have sometimes lost our way.
Host Mang Mang:
“So in order to enhance collaboration there needs to be a decent level of integration. What more can you tell us about Chinese efforts to facilitate greater regional integration in Asia?
“Well, of course, China is active all over the place, and increasingly playing a vital role. But we have to see this in context. As an American, myself, originally, the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from UNESCO, to reduce its participation in the United Nations, in diplomacy and in global governance, in poverty reduction, makes China now the major donor. We are going to see major shifts around the world. And it is inspiring to me, of course I am not a fortune teller and I do not know how things will play out, but this potential for a cooperative world not based on the threat of force or economic domination, in which the needs of poor people and developing countries are properly addressed, that this offers a real potential to us that can be inspiring and I think many people were hoping that he would make some statement like this to give us some sense that there is some potential in what is a very critical and critical and dangerous moment in human history.