It’s all happening in Beijing this week, with the major Belt and Road Forum drawing representatives from 130 countries – and the expected levels of security. If there was any doubt about Chinese global leadership, then it is probably time to lay such doubt to rest. Apart from all the usual commentary, what fascinates me is that this massive project – some call it the project of the century and some the most ambitious project in human history – is being spearheaded by nothing less than the Communist Party of China and its chairman. The full video of Xi Jinping’s speech can be found here.

Not that long ago, there was much debate in China about its direction. That debate had passed, with Xi’s China Dream and its concrete manifestation – in part – with the Belt and Road. It is also part of the internal aim of moving to a ‘xiaokang’ society – a moderately peaceful, prosperous, harmonious and strong society by 2021-49 – or what is known is these parts as the second stage of socialism.

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