Beijing: President Xi Jinping was on Wednesday hailed as a top world leader by China's official media, crediting him for a host of ambitious initiatives including the multi-billion dollar Silk Road project that has enhanced the Communist nation's diplomatic reach.
"A major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics has taken shape since Xi became the top leader in late 2012," state-run Xinhua news agency said in a commentary titled "A to Z of China's diplomacy under Xi's leadership".
63-year-old Xi's initiatives included the Silk Road officially called One Belt and Road initiative, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new development bank
proposed by China to finance infrastructure projects in Asia and backing Paris Agreement on climate change under which China has committed to cutting carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60 to 65 per cent by 2030 from the 2005 levels.
Xi has emerged as the most powerful leader holding all three important power centres of General Secretary of the ruling-Communist Party of China (CPC), Presidency and the head of the military since he succeeded former leader Hu Jintao in the end of 2012.
While his initiatives gave China a major diplomatic push, tensions with neighbours and the US escalated over maritime disputes with Japan and in the South China Sea region.
Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan contest China's claims over all but most of South China Sea. India-China border dispute too remained in the limelight with periodic transgressions by Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), though both countries have evolved a number of mechanisms to defuse tensions.
Highlighting Xi's achievements, it said Xi proposed a new philosophy of neighbourhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.
Also a "grand free trade strategy" took shape under him with free trade agreements (FTAs) between China and South Korea and between China and Australia, it said.
China has signed and implemented 14 FTAs covering 22 countries and regions across Asia, Latin America, Oceania and Europe, it said.
China will host the 2016 G20 Summit in the eastern city of Hangzhou on September 4-5, under the theme "Building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy".
Xi also worked out major power relationship with the US, it said.
In 2013, President Xi and his US counterpart Barack Obama agreed to build a new type of major-power relationship between the two countries, it said.
Xi also pointed out that China must develop a distinctive diplomatic approach befitting its role as a major country, so that diplomacy will show salient Chinese features -- style and confidence, it said.
"China's relations with the outside world have started new chapters. Some foreign media outlets believe that China's diplomatic stance sends a signal -- Xi-style diplomacy has taken shape," it said....