Chinese President Xi: 'Certain countries' shouldn't be allowed to set the pace for the whole world

He also said 'bossing others around' wouldn't get any support for a country.

Kayla Wong | April 21, 2021, 04:20 PM

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned "certain countries" not to dictate the rest of the world at the annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).

Touted as the "Davos of Asia", the four-day event kicked off on Sunday, Apr. 18, at China's Hainan province, and Xi's keynote speech was delivered via video.

Rules for the whole world must not be set by any country

Calling for greater global integration, Xi warned against decoupling, saying "attempts to erect walls" run counter to the law of economics and market principles.

U.S. President Joe Biden met with business executives last week to talk about strengthening the country's global supply chain resilience amid a global chip shortage. China is currently attempting to pursue self-sufficiency in semiconductors.

Without mentioning the U.S. explicitly, Xi appeared to make a veiled criticism of the superpower, saying:

"We must not let the rules set by one or a few countries be imposed on others, or allow unilateralism pursued by certain countries to set the pace for the whole world."

"World affairs should be handled through extensive consultation, and the future of the world should be decided by all countries working together," he added.

Biden previously said the U.S. would work with allies to take on China's growing influence.

The U.S. had recently led a coordinated Western effort with Britain, Canada, and the European Union to sanction Chinese officials for alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang.

China has repeatedly denied these allegations.

Warns against hegemonic behaviour

Xi further said the world does not need "hegemony" at the moment, adding that "big countries should behave in a manner befitting their status and with a greater sense of responsibility".

Stressing that the principles of "equality, mutual respect and mutual trust" should be the basis for all state-to-state relations, Xi added that "bossing others around or meddling in others’ internal affairs would not get one any support".

Xi added that no matter how strong China may grow, it will "never seek hegemony, expansion, or a sphere of influence".

"Nor will China ever engage in an arms race," he said.

In addition, the Chinese leader appeared to highlight its growing political and economic might, saying "global governance should reflect the evolving political and economic landscape in the world".

Prominent names in attendance

According to China's official state-run media Xinhua, more than 2,600 guests from over 60 countries and regions attended the event, including the Managing Director for the International Monetary Fund.

Among the audience were American business leaders, such as Apple's Tim Cook and Tesla's Elon Musk.

The forum, first held 20 years ago, was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Xi's speech comes days before a climate change summit hosted by Biden, which he will attend. Other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, will be attending the virtual event as well.

You can listen to his translated speech here:

Top image via Xinhua