President Xi Lays Out His Strategic Vision for Asia-Pacific

November 10, 2014

While the U.S. is conducting an intense campaign to keep the AIIB and New Silk Roads off the APEC agenda, these issues have become the "elephant in the room" which just can't be ignored. While there is no mention of either in the Ministerial Statement issued at the end of the Foreign Ministers' meeting on Saturday, thanks to U.S. pressure, President Xi Jinping is conducting his own campaign to bring all of this to a larger stage.

In a major speech to the APEC CEOs meeting, he called on them to help make the "China Dream" an "Asia-Pacific Dream," laying out his strategic vision for the region and the world. In an indirect reference to the obstacles being placed in the way of this development by the policies of the United States, Xi said,

"The Asia-Pacific has daunting tasks in raising the quality and efficiency of the economy and in replacing old growth areas with new ones. There are different directions and priorities in accelerating the regional integration process and various free trade arrangements being proposed, making it difficult for some to make a choice,"

"The Asia-Pacific stands at a crossroads. Shall we continue to lead the world in creating a bright future? Or shall we slow down only to be out-performed by others? Shall we deepen the integration process or shall we let ourselves slip into a vortex of fragmentation? Shall we embrace openness and inclusiveness to work together for an Asia-Pacific Century, or shall we cling to an outdated mindset unfit for the 21st Century?"
— Xi Jinping, APEC conference · Nov. 9, 2014

"We should replace a `winner take all' attitude,"

Xi said, with an "all winner" approach.

President Xi again underlined China's intent to move forward with a concrete road map toward an all-inclusive free trade area for the Asia-Pacific which would

"bring the region to a higher level...Only reformers and innovators will be able to win,"

he said.

"We need a new path and a new model. He have to draw up a blueprint for a new connectivity."

He also underlined that this would "bring together both sides of the Pacific." He also called on the other countries to work together with China on developing the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

To help realize this development, he said, China had taken the initiative in establishing the AIIB as a "platform for cooperation and growth," calling it a "substantive step forward." "We will work for the early operation of the AIIB," Xi stated. He said that China had taken the first step in creating a Silk Road Fund of $40 billion. At this point, his speech was interrupted by a round applause from the CEOs gathered in the auditorium.

"The development prospect of our region hinges on the decisions and actions we take today," Xi said.

"We are duty-bound to create and fulfill an Asia-Pacific dream for our people. That dream,"

Xi said,

"is about staying ahead of global development and making a greater contribution to the well-being of mankind."