Thus, in late November 2014, during the Central Foreign Affairs Work Conference in Beijing, President Xi Jinping made an earth-shattering announcement; from now on China would stop treating the US -- and the EU -- as its main strategic priority. The new focus is on the fellow BRICS group of emerging powers, especially Russia; Asian neighbors; and top nations of the Global South, referred to as "major developing powers" (kuoda fazhanzhong de guojia).
This is not as much a Chinese pivot to Asia as a Chinese pivot to selected nations in the Global South. And based on a "new type of international relations centered on 'win-win' cooperation" -- not the bully-or-bomb exceptionalist approach.
Key advisors of this policy should include Professor Yan Xuetong, Dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University, and very close to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligentsia.
China's new foreign policy and strategic configuration is all the more evident in the courting of Asian neighbors, invited to embark on China's extremely ambitious twin strategy and the greatest trade/commerce story of the young 21st century: the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, in short "Belt and Road initiative," as it's known in China, now officially launched with the first $40 billion attributed to a Silk Road Fund.
The enormity of the challenge is on a par with Beijing's ambition: a pan-Eurasia trade/commerce utopia weaved by high-speed rail, fiber optic networks, ports and pipelines, and connecting East Asia, Central Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Europe.
Of course there will be myriad problems. As in the Chinese commercial push clashing with foreign interests; China having to learn on the go how to manage different cultural sensibilities; and how to coordinate a sort of global trade campaign capable of creating myriad of political and economic effects. The Chinese are already worried about finding the right terminology -- so the Chinese dream, internally and globally, won't be lost in translation.
Plenty to be excited about then as the Year of the Sheep (or Goat) starts. What's certain is that the Chinese caravan, much in contrast with the dogs of war -- and austerity -- pivoting across the West, has already pivoted towards "win-win" pan-Eurasia integration.