What Was the Chinese Leader’s Real Goal at the APEC Forum?

CommentaryFour hours of talks between Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in San Francisco last month delivered very little substance.Another promise from Xi to “get tough” on Chinese domestic fentanyl precursor labs, a resumption of military-to-military contacts, a promise of more giant pandas to U.S. zoos, a resumption of more direct flights from China to the United States, and a commitment to continue with cabinet- and sub-cabinet-level discussions on a variety of topics.And those “accomplishments” warranted all the praise from mainstream media?A sampling of headlines and claims:Related Stories11/25/202311/20/2023As reported by UnHerd, “Xi Jinping should have entered San Francisco’s Apec conference with his tail between his legs, but instead has emerged as something closer to the king of the world.”The Hill touted, "Chinese leader Xi gets standing ovation at banquet with U.S. executives."A headline from the Financial Times claimed that, as a result of Xi’s brief visit to the United States, there was “a hint of thaw in the new cold war” and a “sign of progress after a period of high tensions.”In reality, there were no agreements about curbing ongoing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea. No pressure on China to stop constructing coal-fired power plants (the green agenda being a top Biden administration priority). Nothing on China’s massive ongoing theft of U.S. intellectual property. No commitment from the CCP to stop the persecution of minority groups. Xi’s Public Message—The CCP View As reported by Newsweek, U.S. business executives spent $40,000 to dine with Xi on Nov. 15. The capitalists present—including Tim Cook (Apple CEO), Stephen Schwarzman (Blackstone Group CEO), and Ray Dalio (Bridgewater Associates founder)—gave the top communist in the world a standing ovation and were enthralled by Xi’s standard fare of “win-win cooperation” and other platitudes.Xi’s comments at the dinner were spun by CCP mouthpiece People’s Daily on Nov. 23. He claimed that “China's development is driven by its inherent logic and dynamics.” Xi further stated that China “will not take the old path of colonization and plundering, or the wrong path of seeking hegemony with growing strength. It does not export its ideology.” Lastly, the CCP “has no plan to surpass or unseat the United States.”Virtually all of those claims are false. For the communists, the smokescreen is all about “mutual respect and equal treatment”—but on the CCP’s terms. That phrase, “inherent logic and dynamics,” translates into the iron control and whimsical, unscientific decision-making of the CCP. The communists had already completed a major colonial period with their ongoing occupation and pacification of Tibet and East Turkmenistan. The CCP has greedy eyes focused on disputed sectors along the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control and in the South China and West Philippine Seas. The CCP's “new path” is actually an old one used by nations throughout history: might makes right. Finally, the Chinese regime's goal to displace the United States has been well-documented, including by Xi’s own “global initiatives.”As usual, that which is unmentioned is what is truly important to the communists. Unspoken was the real motive of Xi’s mission to San Francisco: keep the foreign direct investment flowing. Motivation for Xi’s Trip Thanks in large part to Xi’s signature zero-COVID policy, China’s economy has staggered, with the underlying problems of massive local debt and a depressed real estate market becoming increasingly evident. The problems have been exacerbated by Xi’s Mao-like anti-corruption campaign, security clampdowns, and purges of erstwhile loyal Party members.An interesting analysis from Nikkei suggests that Xi was under considerable pressure from Party elders and "second-generation Reds" to restore the stable U.S.–China relationship successfully pursued by his predecessors, resulting in massive Western investments in China since the 1980s. Second-generation Reds refers to the children of revolutionary-era Party leaders (like Xi himself) who have risen to power and benefited directly from their “partnerships” with Chinese industry.These people are ostensibly alarmed at the recent flight of foreign companies from China in the face of Xi’s increasing authoritarianism, tightening of internal security controls under the new counterespionage law, scaring away foreign investors through new regulations and audits, and saber-rattling in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.The Nikkei article further claims that Xi’s main mission was to calm the waters with the Americans and keep the money and investments flowing. And therein lies the elephant in the room that was unmentioned by the adoring mainstream media and the gaslighting state-run Chinese media in summarizing the results of the APEC forum. Concluding Thoughts As reported in the F

What Was the Chinese Leader’s Real Goal at the APEC Forum?

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Commentary

Four hours of talks between Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in San Francisco last month delivered very little substance.

Another promise from Xi to “get tough” on Chinese domestic fentanyl precursor labs, a resumption of military-to-military contacts, a promise of more giant pandas to U.S. zoos, a resumption of more direct flights from China to the United States, and a commitment to continue with cabinet- and sub-cabinet-level discussions on a variety of topics.

And those “accomplishments” warranted all the praise from mainstream media?

A sampling of headlines and claims:

As reported by UnHerd, “Xi Jinping should have entered San Francisco’s Apec conference with his tail between his legs, but instead has emerged as something closer to the king of the world.”

The Hill touted, "Chinese leader Xi gets standing ovation at banquet with U.S. executives."

A headline from the Financial Times claimed that, as a result of Xi’s brief visit to the United States, there was “a hint of thaw in the new cold war” and a “sign of progress after a period of high tensions.”

In reality, there were no agreements about curbing ongoing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea. No pressure on China to stop constructing coal-fired power plants (the green agenda being a top Biden administration priority). Nothing on China’s massive ongoing theft of U.S. intellectual property. No commitment from the CCP to stop the persecution of minority groups.

Xi’s Public Message—The CCP View

As reported by Newsweek, U.S. business executives spent $40,000 to dine with Xi on Nov. 15. The capitalists present—including Tim Cook (Apple CEO), Stephen Schwarzman (Blackstone Group CEO), and Ray Dalio (Bridgewater Associates founder)—gave the top communist in the world a standing ovation and were enthralled by Xi’s standard fare of “win-win cooperation” and other platitudes.

Xi’s comments at the dinner were spun by CCP mouthpiece People’s Daily on Nov. 23. He claimed that “China's development is driven by its inherent logic and dynamics.” Xi further stated that China “will not take the old path of colonization and plundering, or the wrong path of seeking hegemony with growing strength. It does not export its ideology.” Lastly, the CCP “has no plan to surpass or unseat the United States.”

Virtually all of those claims are false. For the communists, the smokescreen is all about “mutual respect and equal treatment”—but on the CCP’s terms. That phrase, “inherent logic and dynamics,” translates into the iron control and whimsical, unscientific decision-making of the CCP. The communists had already completed a major colonial period with their ongoing occupation and pacification of Tibet and East Turkmenistan. The CCP has greedy eyes focused on disputed sectors along the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control and in the South China and West Philippine Seas. The CCP's “new path” is actually an old one used by nations throughout history: might makes right. Finally, the Chinese regime's goal to displace the United States has been well-documented, including by Xi’s own “global initiatives.”

As usual, that which is unmentioned is what is truly important to the communists. Unspoken was the real motive of Xi’s mission to San Francisco: keep the foreign direct investment flowing.

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Motivation for Xi’s Trip

Thanks in large part to Xi’s signature zero-COVID policy, China’s economy has staggered, with the underlying problems of massive local debt and a depressed real estate market becoming increasingly evident. The problems have been exacerbated by Xi’s Mao-like anti-corruption campaign, security clampdowns, and purges of erstwhile loyal Party members.

An interesting analysis from Nikkei suggests that Xi was under considerable pressure from Party elders and "second-generation Reds" to restore the stable U.S.–China relationship successfully pursued by his predecessors, resulting in massive Western investments in China since the 1980s. Second-generation Reds refers to the children of revolutionary-era Party leaders (like Xi himself) who have risen to power and benefited directly from their “partnerships” with Chinese industry.

These people are ostensibly alarmed at the recent flight of foreign companies from China in the face of Xi’s increasing authoritarianism, tightening of internal security controls under the new counterespionage law, scaring away foreign investors through new regulations and audits, and saber-rattling in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.

The Nikkei article further claims that Xi’s main mission was to calm the waters with the Americans and keep the money and investments flowing. And therein lies the elephant in the room that was unmentioned by the adoring mainstream media and the gaslighting state-run Chinese media in summarizing the results of the APEC forum.

.

Concluding Thoughts

As reported in the Financial Times, “China's share of world GDP is on pace to shrink 1.4 percentage points over two years,” signaling a reversal of the “Chinese miracle” over the past five decades. The Chinese economy stands on three legs: exports, real estate development, and foreign direct investment. Two of those three legs are in dire straits, with the third in decline, according to various reports.

Reuters reported that local debt in China topped $9 trillion in March. That problem is exacerbated by the “hidden debt” created by those local governments to hide their problems. As noted by Taiwan’s Central News Agency on Nov. 9, “local governments have violated national-level policy by forcing state-owned enterprises and banks to advance billions of yuan in funds for urban development, infrastructure projects, and other expenditures that should have been funded by municipal or provincial budgets instead.”

Radio Free Asia reported on Nov. 14 that “China’s exports fell in October by 6.4 percent year-over-year in U.S. dollar terms.”

Nikkei noted on Nov. 4 that “outflows of foreign direct investment in China have exceeded inflows for the first time”—“the first negative figure in data going back to 1998.”

Thus, there have been a number of reports (for example, this and this) that Xi plied President Biden for nearly a trillion dollars in U.S. investments to bail out the Chinese economy. Almost certainly, this was the real reason for Xi’s trip to San Francisco, not the media headlines.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.