Fresh from forcibly securing an unprecedented third five-year term as China's top leader, Xi Jinping returned to the international stage at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia after a self-imposed Covid travel drought. Xi promptly made clear to the president of the United States and other leaders that he expected deference. Criticism was met with charges of "Cold War mentality."
"This could be translated as Xi telling the world to stop complaining about China’s technology theft, authoritarian politics, human rights abuses, forced labor practices, and the lamentable safety protocols at its virus laboratories," Breitbart's John Hayward noted.
In a rare moment in which analysts say Xi strayed from his carefully-crafted image of genteel statesman, video footage published by Canadian broadcasters on Wednesday showed Xi personally dressing down Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for leaking to the press certain details of the conversation between the two leader.
"That is not appropriate, and we didn't do it that way," Xi says in Mandarin. "If there is sincerity, we can communicate well with mutual respect, otherwise the outcome will not be easy to tell."
Reports had said that Trudeau brought up "serious concerns" about alleged espionage and Chinese "interference" in Canadian elections when meeting with Xi on Tuesday, his first talks with the Chinese leader in more than three years.
A translator for Xi can be heard in the video telling Trudeau that "everything we discussed was leaked to the paper(s), that's not appropriate."
Trudeau responds to Xi's initial criticism by saying, "In Canada we believe in free and open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to have, we will continue to look to work constructively together but there will be things we disagree on."
Before he finished speaking, however, Xi cuts off Trudeau and says, "Create the conditions, create the conditions, OK?" before shaking Trudeau's hand and walking off.
Meanwhile, consider the plightof Joe Biden who once famously proclaimed "China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man."
Chinese state media reported that, in Monday's meeting in Bali between Xi and Biden that China had indeed eaten the U.S.'s lunch.
According to Chinese media, Xi explained China’s priorities and perspectives on matters such as global trade and Taiwan, and Biden acquiesced to each one.
The international community was supposedly reassured, the reports continued, by Biden’s acceptance of Xi’s leadership role, putting an end to years of the United States unfairly and unreasonably making trouble for Beijing.
China’s state-run Global Times described the meeting as Biden listening while Xi “profoundly” laid out the mutual interests between the superpowers.
Nikkei Asia noted of Xi's flurry of activity during the G20: "He seemed to have a new diplomatic playbook — one that is milder than the 'wolf warrior' diplomacy his hard-line diplomats have been waging during his tenure so far," adding that Xi has surrounded himself with "an obedient cabinet of loyalists" which allow him "a free hand to chart a new course in foreign policy."
To Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Xi said there has never been a fundamental conflict of interest between the two countries, despite a two-year spat over Canberra's suggestion for a Covid-19 investigation.
To South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol, Xi said he would support Seoul's "audacious plan" to reach out to North Korea, if Pyongyang was also willing.
The Cdn Pool cam captured a tough talk between Chinese President Xi & PM Trudeau at the G20 today. In it, Xi express his displeasure that everything discussed yesterday “has been leaked to the paper(s), that’s not appropriate… & that’s not the way the conversation was conducted” pic.twitter.com/Hres3vwf4Q— Annie Bergeron-Oliver (@AnnieClaireBO) November 16, 2022