June 9, 2023

Chinese President Xi Jinping will take part in the virtual event of the World Economic Forum WEF of the Davos Agenda and will give a special address via video link in Beijing, the capital of China, on January 25, 2021.

Li Xueren | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday his country would not pursue hegemony no matter how powerful it gets, and he called for “fairer and more equitable” global governance.

Beijing has increasingly argued with the US and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe on issues ranging from human rights to unfair trade practices. These countries have raised concerns that China’s increasing political and economic influence threatens the world order.

“As much as it grows, China will never seek hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence, nor will China ever enter an arms race,” said Xi at the opening ceremony of the annual Boao Forum for Asia in China’s Hainan Province.

It was also not the first time that Xi claimed that China was an advocate of globalization and the multilateral trading system, saying that international rules should not be set by just one or a few nations.

China itself has imposed unilateral trade sanctions on countries like Australia after that country expressed its support for an international investigation into China’s handling of the coronavirus. The virus first appeared in China in late 2019.

Without naming any countries, Xi said that great nations should behave in ways that “reflect their status and have a greater sense of responsibility.”

He also spoke out against a “cold war” mentality and an “ideological confrontation”, adding that any country that interferes in the domestic affairs of others would not receive support.

Xi’s remarks came after US-China relations got off to a difficult start under President Joe Biden’s administration.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and others have spoken out against China on issues ranging from the autonomy of Hong Kong – a Chinese special administrative region – to allegations of serious human rights violations in western China. Beijing has accused Washington of meddling in its internal affairs.

Last month, Biden said China has “the general goal of becoming the leading country, the richest country in the world and the most powerful country in the world.” The US president said he would not allow that to happen under his watch.