Bill Bishop: Xi’s speech a clarion call for China “decoupling”

For those you living under a rock, Bill Bishop is the China export that runs Sinocism, the best daily China news and analysis source on the web.

Bishop has deep knowledge, is very balanced in his views and access to the best of the best material and people.

Today he pulls no punches following last week’s Nuremberg rally in Beijing:

Bishop: I watched the speech live, between the content of the speech and the overall setting I am now more concerned than ever about where things are headed. I also heard the speech as perhaps the most coherent argument for more pervasive and painful decoupling than anyone has yet made. Depressing. This section is I believe the essence of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy
Xi: The Chinese nation has fostered a splendid civilization over more than 5,000 years of history. The Party has also acquired a wealth of experience through its endeavors over the past 100 years and during more than 70 years of governance. At the same time, we are also eager to learn what lessons we can from the achievements of other cultures, and welcome helpful suggestions and constructive criticism. We will not, however, accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us. The Party and the Chinese people will keep moving confidently forward in broad strides along the path that we have chosen for ourselves, and we will make sure the destiny of China’s development and progress remains firmly in our own hands.

We must accelerate the modernization of national defense and the armed forces. A strong country must have a strong military, as only then can it guarantee the security of the nation. At the point that it was engaged in violent struggle, the Party came to recognize the irrefutable truth that it must command the gun and build a people’s military of its own. The people’s military has made indelible achievements on behalf of the Party and the people. It is a strong pillar for safeguarding our socialist country and preserving national dignity, and a powerful force for protecting peace in our region and beyond.

On the journey ahead, we must fully implement the Party’s thinking on strengthening the military in the new era as well as our military strategy for the new era, maintain the Party’s absolute leadership over the people’s armed forces, and follow a Chinese path to military development. We will take comprehensive measures to enhance the political loyalty of the armed forces, to strengthen them through reform and technology and the training of competent personnel, and to run them in accordance with the law. We will elevate our people’s armed forces to world-class standards so that we are equipped with greater capacity and more reliable means for safeguarding our national sovereignty, security, and development interests.

We must continue working to promote the building of a human community with a shared future. Peace, concord, and harmony are ideas the Chinese nation has pursued and carried forward for more than 5,000 years. The Chinese nation does not carry aggressive or hegemonic traits in its genes. The Party cares about the future of humanity, and wishes to move forward in tandem with all progressive forces around the world. China has always worked to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and preserve international order.

On the journey ahead, we will remain committed to promoting peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit, to an independent foreign policy of peace, and to the path of peaceful development. We will work to build a new type of international relations and a human community with a shared future, promote high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative through joint efforts, and use China’s new achievements in development to provide the world with new opportunities. The Party will continue to work with all peace-loving countries and peoples to promote the shared human values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom. We will continue to champion cooperation over confrontation, to open up rather than closing our doors, and to focus on mutual benefits instead of zero-sum games. We will oppose hegemony and power politics, and strive to keep the wheels of history rolling toward bright horizons.

We Chinese are a people who uphold justice and are not intimidated by threats of force. As a nation, we have a strong sense of pride and confidence. We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token, we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us. Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.

Let’s just revisit what Australia’s local cadre of useful idiots said about it. Stan Grant:

When Xi Jinping talked about “national rejuvenation”, “sovereignty and territorial integrity”, he was channelling Liang Qichao.

When he warned that no foreign force “will bully, oppress or subjugate us”, he was echoing the words of Liang.

It was Liang Qichao who helped popularise the idea of “humiliation” that Xi now uses as a mantra to bind Chinese people to a militant identity that pits China against the world

Poor old Stan and his culture wars. Understanding your enemy is always a good idea. But understanding and empathising to the point where you allow the enemy to sweep away all that is good in your world?

Then again, at least Stan wrote about the speech. The AFR’s China useful idiot, James Curran, didn’t even mention it, preferring to manufacture divisions between Australia and US that aren’t there.

To wit, the Asia Society, chaired by Kevin Rudd, delivered a blunt assessment of things via White House Indo-Pacific doyen Kurt Campbell:

“I don’t want to be pessimistic for Australia and Australia has tried quietly and carefully, but I see little yield.

And I’m not sure that [China] has the strategic thinking, to go back to a different kind of diplomacy towards Australia right now. I see a harshness in their approach that appears unyielding.

From our perspective it looks at least that there is some attempt [by China] to cut Australia out of the herd and to try to see if they can affect Australia to completely change how it sees itself and the world.

I would have thought that we were basically settling in for the long haul, in terms of tensions between China and Australia.

I think the United States, President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Council Jake Sullivan and others have tried to make clear that we’re not going to leave Australia in the field. That’s just not going to happen.

If anything, what we’ve seen over the last six to eight months, is a deepening, intensifying relationship between Canberra and Washington.

These are not completely like minded governments, but I think there is a tremendous sense of common purpose with respect to some of the challenges that we were facing in the indo Pacific and the opportunities.

I thought that China had a series of tells, if you will, about how it would operate internationally. China would rarely try to take on more than one big foreign policy challenges simultaneously.

But what we’ve seen of late really is China taking on many countries simultaneously, much greater assertive action across the Taiwan Strait… Wolf war diplomacy continues in Europe, muted but still very purposeful dialogue aimed at the United States, and then economic course of actions against the number of states was pointedly Australia.

I would have thought previously that given what we had seen and the success of President Biden’s visits to Europe and a sense of other countries finding common cause with United States that China would be in the midst right now of a recalibration, a sense of pulling back some of its actions, particularly against Australia. But I think that is completely gone now.

One of the reasons why the United States is so clear about our dissatisfaction by what China has undertaken in Hong Kong is a clear sense that quietly behind the scenes, Chinese interlocutors have studied and tried to make an assessment [that asks] if we can do this, what’s the international response and what does that tell us about what the response would be with respect to Taiwan?

I just want to underscore that such an effort would be would be catastrophic.

We do not support Taiwan independence. We fully recognise that understand the sensitivities involved here. We do believe that Taiwan has a right to live in peace. We’ve tried to send a very clear message of deterrence across the Taiwan Strait.

The hope will be that the foundational infrastructure effort is a bipartisan effort. There is a tremendous sense that such an achievement will send not only a message about what’s possible domestically, but what’s possible internationally.

I think you will see later this year when the President hosts leaders in Washington, that you’ll see some amendments that will be decisive with respect to not only continuation of vaccine diplomacy, but infrastructure as well.“

Australia’s orientation towards its two great power sponsors has completely flipped. For two decades it has been all charm from Beijing and increasing alarm from Washington about our behaviour. Now it is the reverse.

Decoupling is indeed the future. Ge ready for it.

Houses and Holes


  1. Hill Billy 55

    Xi refers to the 1.4 billion people as if that is set in stone. I suspect that the rhetoric from Chyna will become more irrational as the end game is that there will be far fewer than 1.3 Billion people there in the not to distant future simply from the changing demographics of the older cohort dying and being replaced by a smaller post One Child Population of oldies.

    • It is not a demographic issue that China should be worried about rather a massive health issue. The economic growth that gets paraded around has come at great cost to the environment. The air, water and land has effectively been poisoned so that people could become rich.

    • Peter SMEMBER

      Currently, China sees about 2 million of its citizens abandoning-ship each year as they head for safer climes.

  2. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    first half of the speech is all about having a strong military for a new era, second half all about how peaceful chyna wants to be 🙂 🙂

  3. MB readerMEMBER

    I must say though I do have a very nice rock.

    “It was Liang Qichao who helped popularise the idea of “humiliation” that Xi now uses as a mantra to bind Chinese people to a militant identity that pits China against the world.” I think Stan Grant’s words here pretty accurately sum up China’s view of itself in the world! It’s China against the world and we need to look out.

  4. If you cosplay as a James Bond villain in front of a jackboot military parade, threaten military destruction of anyone who opposes you and, in the same breath, preach you only want love and peace, then be prepared because the world now really knows what you represent.

    • blacktwin997MEMBER

      I reckon most of this type of behaviour can be linked to the cadmium levels in their rice. Which also explains the general level of competence of their exported students.