CLAREMONT – Distinguishing diplomatic rhetoric from official policy is never easy. But it is especially difficult in China, where the government’s actions so often fail to match its statements. Given this, it is worth asking whether the latest slogan adopted by Chinese officials – “Asia for Asians” – is merely nationalist posturing for domestic consumption or a signal of a genuine policy shift.
The most authoritative reference to an “Asia for Asians” occurred in May, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia. In a carefully crafted statement, Xi laid out China’s vision for a new regional security order – one in which, as the slogan suggests, Asians are in charge. [Source]