Beijing pulls out of human rights talks, while vowing to become the world’s most powerful nation

Beijing pulls out of human rights talks, while vowing to become the world’s most powerful nation, by Greg Sheridan.

The Chinese government has walked away from its long-­standing human rights dialogue with Canberra, as President Xi Jinping delivered a striking 3½-hour address to the 19th Communist Party Congress yesterday in which he vowed to make China the world’s most powerful nation.

Mr Xi, the most dominant ­national leader in China since Mao Zedong, told 2300 delegates that China was entering a new era and it now “stands tall in the East”.

He rejected Western notions of liberalism and confirmed ruling party ideology, including promoting “socialism with Chinese ­characteristics”. …

He also reaffirmed his commitment to modernising China’s military and, in a sharp warning against moves to independence in Taiwan, said: “We will not tolerate anyone, using any means, at any time, to separate one inch of land from China.”

The people of China would ­become rich under Communist Party rule, Mr Xi said, while by 2050 the nation would be the leading international power.

Mr Xi’s strong political self-confidence is reflected in Beijing’s decision to radically downgrade, or walk away from, the formal ­annual Human Rights Dialogue it has held with Australia since 1997. …

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop … was attacked by China’s hawkish Global Times after she said she did not want to see “freedom of speech curbed in any way involving foreign students or foreign ­academics”. Her comments were criticised by the Global Times, which editorialised that it was time for Chinese students to ­reconsider studying in Australia.

hat-tip Stephen Neil