China: 2017 Was a ‘Crossroads of History’ for Global Power Balance
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued an end-of-year assessment on December 10, saying 2017 is closing with the world now “at a crucial stage of evolving international landscape and shifting balance of power ….”
In a speech delivered at the opening of the Symposium on International Developments and China’s Diplomacy in 2017, Mr. Wang painted a revealing picture of the way the Chinese leadership sees the era of American global dominance ending and leaving a void that China must fill.
“The world is changing like never before,” Wang said, “and China is on the final leg of its march toward national rejuvenation. In a great era that is unfolding before our eyes, let us follow the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, keep our mission firmly in mind, live up to the trust placed on us, and scale new heights in our major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.”
Wang said, “The human society has once again come to a crossroads of history.”
Stabilizing the World
Wang commended China’s “great achievements” for the year, and said Beijing aims to take on a greater role on the international stage going forward. China will “play a bigger and more constructive role in upholding world stability,” he said.
He said Beijing will find ways of “resolving hotspot issues” around the world using “Chinese characteristics.” Wang specifically mentioned the Syria crisis, the Afghanistan situation, and the North Korea crisis as areas where China needs to be more involved to provide stability. He also said China will try to help resolve the Israel-Palestine dispute.
The Belt and Road Initiative
Wang mentioned the success of President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (bri) more than a dozen times, and revealed that Beijing has already inked cooperation deals with 80 nations and organizations under the bri framework. He said China has also “conducted institutionalized cooperation on industrial capacity with over 30 countries, and built 75 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in 24 countries,” as part of the bri.
China has invested more than $50 billion into the initiative so far, he said, and has created almost 200,000 jobs in countries that the bri passed through.
This project is valuable not just for China, in Wang’s assessment, but also for Asia and the world.
A Rare Leader
Mr. Wang also upheld Paramount Leader Xi Jinping as a man with rare global leadership ability during uncertain times: “In a time of sluggish economic growth and recovery as well as global turbulence and unending conflicts, the judgment and leadership of global statesmen and the ability to take swift action are more sought after than gold,” he said. “President Xi’s visit to Davos early this year was such a trip that has boosted global confidence and charted the way forward for economic globalization.”
During Xi’s January visit to the World Economic Forum at Davos, he adamantly defended free trade, multilateral organizations and globalization, which contrasted sharply with the Trump administration’s increasing talk of protectionism and hesitancy regarding globalization.
Though Wang did not single out America in the context of the shifting global power balance, the unmistakable implication of his remarks is that international power is moving from the United States to China. Washington can no longer provide the kind of more-precious-than-gold leadership that the world needs, and now it is Beijing and Xi Jinping who can provide it.
Wang ended his address with some poignant lines from a Chinese poem: “With the rising tide and favorable wind, it is time to sail the ship and ride the waves.”
The ‘Times of the Gentiles’
Bible prophecy says that in the end time, an era will be ushered in called “the times of the Gentiles.” Jesus Christ Himself used this term in Luke 21:24, and the context shows that these “times” will occur after a shift in global power takes place, pushing power away from America and toward two main power blocs: one led by Germany and the other led by Russia, with China in a position of secondary leadership. For this prophesied era to occur, there will first be a shift of power to China.
Mr. Wang is correct in his assessment that a shift in the global power balance is underway. And it is leading to these biblically prophesied “times of the Gentiles.”
In 2014, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote about this fast approaching era: “These ‘times of the Gentiles’ are yet to be fully realized. However, we are in the outer edges of this catastrophic storm. … This is part of the core of biblical prophecy—right out of your Bible! Yet we don’t hear much about the times of the Gentiles today.”
To understand more about this major shift that is now underway and about this “core” part of biblical prophecy, read Mr. Flurry’s article “What Are the Times of the Gentiles?”