Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Pope, China’s Xi in Kazakhstan Ahead of Xi-Putin Meeting

14 Sep, 2022

As Western business exits China, Xi seeks to forge an alternative world order on first trip outside China

By Brian Grim

In Xi Jinping’s first trip abroad in nearly 1,000 days, he emerges in Kazakhstan from a China still in Covid locked-downs and with a situation in Xinjiang where the UN has said that China has committed “serious human rights violations” against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, including Kazakhs.

China indeed does offer a different world order, one which is driving Western business from its shores, an exodus known as “friendshoring” – moving supply chains and manufacturing to friendlier shores.

At the same time in Kazakhstan, in a separate interfaith peace event, Pope Francis called for an end to Russia’s “senseless and tragic war” in Ukraine.

It is not likely Pope Francis and Xi will meet, as China’s Xi will go on from Kazakstan to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, where he will meet Russia’s president Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

No such calls for peace have yet come from Xi.

This alternative world order suffers a lack of the social, economic and religious freedoms that have created the conditions for China’s rise to power. By denying these freedoms, China is hobbling its chances going forward.

Without freedom, innovation is stifled and competitiveness dwindles. India, on the other hand, is offering a freer model, one which is hopeful (as I’ve argued before). As a result, India’s freer system is attracting a great influx of business friendshoring investment.

What can we do as an authoritarian world order is growing? One thing we can all do is protect each other’s freedom of religion or belief by standing up for everyone’s freedom, not just our own. This perspective is beautifully captured in the concept of Covenantal Pluralism.

To learn more, check out the video below, and join me in putting it into practice through RFBF’s core value – love of neighbor.