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Former Serbian President Addresses Chinese Conference On CCP “International Significance”

December 8th, 2021 15:54

Chi­nese media report­ed last month that Chi­na host­ed the 9th World Forum on Chi­na Stud­ies in Octo­ber. The con­fer­ence brought togeth­er over 150 schol­ars and opin­ion lead­ers from around the world to dis­cuss the “polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic, social, cul­tur­al and inter­na­tion­al sig­nif­i­cance” of China’s Com­mu­nist Par­ty (CCP). Accord­ing to a Chi­na Dai­ly report:

Octo­ber 12, 2021 The 9th World Forum on Chi­na Stud­ies will take place in Shang­hai from Oct 18 to 19, accord­ing to the forum’s news brief­ing on Mon­day.  Themed “The Com­mu­nist Par­ty of Chi­na, Chi­na and the World”, the forum will be attend­ed by more than 150 schol­ars and opin­ion lead­ers from var­i­ous fields around the world. Par­tic­i­pants will dis­cuss about the his­to­ry of the CPC and its polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic, social, cul­tur­al and inter­na­tion­al sig­nif­i­cance to Chi­na and the world.  The forum con­sist of a ple­nary ses­sion, five par­al­lel pan­els, and five side­line events. Renowned inter­na­tion­al schol­ars and experts will give speech­es on top­ics such as Chi­na’s path to mod­ern­iza­tion, glob­al gov­er­nance, the coun­try’s 14th Five-Year Plan, and glob­al eco­nom­ic recov­ery.  The par­al­lel pan­els are host­ed by top Chi­nese think tanks, includ­ing the Chi­nese Acad­e­my of Social Sci­ences, the Shang­hai Insti­tutes for Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies, the Chi­na Cen­ter for Inter­na­tion­al Eco­nom­ic Exchanges, and the Shang­hai Acad­e­my of Social Sciences.

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Accord­ing to the report, the forum was fund­ed by the State Coun­cil Infor­ma­tion Office, the Chi­nese government’s for­eign pro­pa­gan­da arm. The aca­d­e­m­ic con­fer­ence is the lat­est exam­ple of China’s soft pow­er efforts to co-opt the aca­d­e­m­ic dis­course on Chi­na and the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty when aca­d­e­m­ic free­dom in the coun­try is already in decline.

Some of the inter­na­tion­al aca­d­e­mics and deci­sion-mak­ers invit­ed to the con­fer­ence were sub­se­quent­ly used to pro­mote China’s polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic mod­el to local and for­eign audi­ences. Chi­nese media report­ed lat­er that month that for­mer Ser­bian Pres­i­dent Boris Tadić had giv­en the open­ing speech at the con­fer­ence in which he praised the Chi­nese mod­el of “mod­ern­iza­tion”:

Octo­ber 19, 2021 Boris Tadic, for­mer pres­i­dent of Ser­bia, made a video speech to the forum, point­ing out the impor­tance of under­stand­ing the mod­ern­iza­tion of Chi­na through a new par­a­digm dif­fer­ent from tra­di­tion­al West­ern think­ing.  “Chi­na today is actu­al­ly deliv­er­ing the orig­i­nal and inno­v­a­tive over­com­ing of the mis­takes and con­se­quences of the West­ern type of mod­ern­iza­tion,” he said. “Chi­na is chang­ing the very nature of mod­ern­iza­tion, cre­at­ing its own orig­i­nal way for thriv­ing in the con­tem­po­rary world. The way has been cre­at­ing, not competing.”

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In turn, the Chi­nese government’s glob­al media net­work report­ed wide­ly on Tadić’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the con­fer­ence and ampli­fied his pos­i­tive com­ments on Chi­na in var­i­ous lan­guages, includ­ing Span­ish, Por­tuguese, Ger­man, and Roman­ian.

The GIOR report­ed ear­li­er this week on a new study that con­clud­ed Ser­bia is the East­ern Euro­pean coun­try most sus­cep­ti­ble to Russ­ian and Chi­nese influence.