No civilization superior over another, says President Xi

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Chinese President Xi Jinping. (File Photo: Xinhua/IANS)

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday said that “no civilization is superior over others” and urged countries not to “close their doors and hide behind them” in his first public speech since the US raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods amid an escalating trade war.

Opening the Conference on Asian Civilizations Dialogue here, Xi said there was no need for “civilizations to clash with each other”, reports CNN.

“No civilization is superior over others. The thought that one’s own race and civilization are superior and the inclination to remould or replace other civilizations are just stupid,” he said, adding to do so would invite “catastrophic consequences”.

China retaliated to Trump’s latest round of increases on Monday, raising tariffs on roughly $60 billion worth of US exports.

Speaking at Wednesday’s conference, which featured representatives from 47 countries, Xi praised the achievements of China and other Asian nations over the centuries and said all civilizations needed to learn from each other.

As recently as late April, the US and China appeared to be close to ending the year-long trade war.

But there has been little progress on trade talks since a Chinese delegation left Washington on Friday after the new tariffs went into force.

Both countries have blamed each other for the breakdown in negotiations, with Trump saying on Tuesday that Beijing “broke” the deal.

“We had a deal that was very close and then they broke it. They really did. I mean, more than just, more than renegotiate, they really broke it. So we can’t have that happen,” he said.

There are still hopes for a deal, with a US trade delegation expected to head to Beijing in the coming weeks, CNN reported.

China President Xi Jinping. (File Photo: IANS)

Xi and Trump are also expected to meet in Japan during the G20 in June.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday warned of disaster if any civilization sought to impose itself on others, calling the idea “stupid” as his country heads for an economic showdown with the US.

At the opening session of the Conference on Asian Civilizations Dialogue, Xi said “no civilization is superior over others” and there was no need for them to clash.

“If someone thinks their own race and civilization is superior and insists on remoulding or replacing other civilizations, it would be a stupid idea and disastrous act,” Xi said here.

His remarks were in obvious reference to the US State Department official Kiron Skinner’s statement that Washington was “in a fight with a really different civilization and a different ideology and it was facing a “great power competitor that is not Caucasian”.

The world’s two largest economies are locked in an ugly trade dispute wherein both have slapped punitive tariffs worth billions of dollars on each other’s goods.

Their conflict worsened last week after Washington increased taxes on Chinese products worth $200 billion. Beijing retaliated by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods from June 1.

Both countries blame each other for the breakdown in negotiations with US President Donald Trump saying that Beijing “broke” the deal.

Speaking at Wednesday’s conference, attended by representatives from 47 countries including India, Xi praised the achievement of China and other Asian countries and said various civilizations needed to learn from each other.

“I hope all Asian countries will jointly promote economic globalization that is open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all and work together to eliminate poverty and backwardness in some countries.

“The people of Asian countries hope to distance themselves from being closed and hope that all countries will adhere to the spirit of openness and promote policy communication, connectivity and smooth trade,” he added.