Chinese President Tells Southeast Asian Leaders ‘I Don’t Seek Monopolization’

SHARE THIS ARTICLE Share Tweet Post Email Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Chinese President Xi Jinping told Southeast Asian leaders that Beijing has no desire to dominate the region and will engage in…

Chinese President Tells Southeast Asian Leaders ‘I Don’t Seek Monopolization’

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Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Southeast Asian leaders that Beijing has no desire to dominate the region and will engage in “principled” behavior.

After months of fiery rhetoric during his public appearances, Xi took a softer tone at a meeting with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Friday.

“We do not seek hegemony, nor are we seeking to control other countries,” he said, according to a Xinhua News Agency translation. “We only seek to improve the condition of your people and advance regional peace and stability.”

Presidential officials in Singapore quoted Xi as saying that China takes a “principled stance of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs.”

Xi is attending a three-day summit of ASEAN leaders that began on Friday. He has been accused of using this international forum to project his power in a region long dominated by China.

During a question-and-answer session at the gathering Friday, Xi reportedly took the opportunity to air his grievances against U.S. economic and trade policies.

“Washington wants to treat everybody like an enemy,” Xinhua quoted him as saying. “Instead of establishing a cooperative relationship, Washington turns its fire on its partners.”

The president also used the opportunity to pitch China’s Belt and Road initiative as an alternative to Western policies, specifically condemning the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

“Many countries recognize that the world order set up by the West has failed,” Xi said. “Like the proverbial frog in the pot of slowly boiling water, they keep negotiating with the United States as long as they think they will get out.

“But eventually they see their fellow countrymen vanish and only afterwards recognize that there is no escape.”

Read more about the ASEAN summit.

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