Tonight there is something afoot in South Africa. After a day of pomp and circumstance with President Xi’s arrival in China last night, something strange just happened.
🇨🇳🇿🇦 Xi Jinping arrives in South Africa— Zlatti71 (@djuric_zlatko) August 22, 2023
So the Chinese leader was met at the government residence. The opening of the BRICS summit will take place here today. pic.twitter.com/D9FxWhnJr5
The pomp, the circumstance, everything that anyone would have expected for a major conference where the leaders of the “rest” of the world were to assemble in person and virtually.
Then tonight, a breaking news story from the South China Morning News hits the wire:
It’s not just that he skips his speech, it’s the fact that the SCMP reports it in this manner. Excerpt from the story above:
Chinese President Xi Jinping failed to show up at the Brics Business Forum on Tuesday in South Africa, where he was expected to deliver a speech alongside his counterparts. In his place, Commerce Minister Wang Wentao read the speech that criticised the US over its tendency toward “hegemony”.
Xi, in the speech read by Wang at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, said the US tended to fight countries that threaten its dominance in global affairs and financial markets.
The speech said that every country has a right to development and that people should have the freedom to pursue a happy life. But one country, he said in a thinly veiled swipe at the US, is “obsessed with maintaining hegemony, has gone out of its way to cripple the emerging markets and developing countries”.
“Whoever develops first becomes their target of containment. Whoever is catching up becomes its target of obstruction,” Xi added.
It’s a fascinating insight into the speech, but the economic and political world is asking some serious questions.
Xi Jinping fails to show up at the BRICS Business Forum. Something is amiss? https://t.co/Xkz8puYmtE— Bonnie Glaser / 葛來儀 🇺🇦 (@BonnieGlaser) August 22, 2023
Now the questions can begin. Is there something wrong with Xi? Is he ill? Or has something happened on the geopolitical stage causing him to withdraw?
Stay tuned as this is most unusual and even the financial media is starting to take note.