Xi and Putin believe that in the emerging multipolar world order a variety of firmly held beliefs is better than a uniform nihilism. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
It becomes questionable whether the West can compete as a civilisational state and maintain a presence.
The world ‘Map’ is accelerating its shift away from the paralysed Washington ‘hub’ – but to what? The myth that China, Russia, or the non-western world can be fully assimilated to a Western model of political society (any more than Afghanistan was) is over. So to where are we headed?
The myth of the pull of acculturation into western post-modernity lingers on however, in the continuing western fantasy of pulling China away from Russia, and into an embrace with U.S. Big Business.
The bigger point here is that former wounded civilisations are reasserting themselves: China and Russia – as states organised around indigenous culture – is not a new idea. Rather, it is a very old one: “Always remember that China is a civilization – and not nation-state”, Chinese officials repeat regularly.
Nonetheless, the shift to civilisational statehood emphasised by those Chinese officials arguably is no rhetorical device but reflects something deeper and more radical. Moreover, the culture transition is gaining wide emulation across the globe. Its inherent radicalism however, is largely lost to western audiences.
Chinese thinkers, such as Zhang Weiwei, accuse Western political ideas of being a sham; of masking their deeply partisan ideological character beneath a veneer of supposedly neutral principles. They are saying that the mounting of a universal framework of values – applicable to all societies – is finished.