Joint ef­forts needed to im­prove world or­der

China Daily (Canada) - - TORONTO -

With Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s state visit to the United States com­ing to an end, many observers are try­ing to fathom the strate­gic im­pli­ca­tions em­bed­ded in his week­long tour of a coun­try bat­tling on sev­eral fronts.

Xi and US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama reached an im­por­tant agree­ment to jointly build a new­model of ma­jor-coun­try re­la­tion­ship when theymet at Sun­ny­lands in Cal­i­for­nia in 2013. In a speech de­liv­ered at a ban­quet in Seat­tle on Tues­day, Xi called for ad­vanc­ing the new­model of ma­jor­coun­try re­la­tion­ship be­tween China and the United States and work­ing to­gether to pro­mote world peace and de­vel­op­ment.

Although the foun­da­tion of China and the United States to build a new­type of ma­jor-coun­try re­la­tion­ship is be­ing con­sol­i­dated, some observers have cast doubts over the sound de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions.

Their doubts have a lot to do with Amer­i­can in­ter­est groups seek­ing to in­flu­ence the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cam­paign and some politi­cians’ ten­dency to blame other coun­tries for ev­ery­thing. In­stead, the pes­simistic re­marks sug­gest thatWash­ing­ton is los­ing its magic in man­ag­ing its re­la­tions with Bei­jing, and even the world or­der. That ex­plains why the US has con­stantly ac­cused China of cy­ber-theft, to steal com­mer­cial se­crets from the coun­try.

In ef­fect, it is the US that has been chal­leng­ing the world or­der. China’s so-called con­tempt for the US-led sys­tem, if at all, is a chal­lenge to US hege­mony.

De­signed to re­store re­gional or­der in Europe and the Far East af­terWorldWar II, the US-ini­ti­at­edMar­shall Plan in 1948 and the San Fran­cisco Treaty of Peace with Ja­pan in 1951 have some­what failed their mis­sions, es­pe­cially af­ter the lat­ter au­tho­rized the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment to gov­ern China’s Diaoyu Is­land. NowWash­ing­ton is work­ing overtime to turn its Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship Agree­ment and Trans-At­lantic Trade and In­vest­ment Part­ner­ship into re­al­ity, in the hope of iso­lat­ing Bei­jing with higher-stan­dard rules.

As a ben­e­fi­ciary of and ma­jor stake­holder in the world or­der, China is more likely to im­prove and fix the sys­tem in­stead of chal­leng­ing it. The past is proof that co­or­di­na­tion be­tween China and the US can play a vi­tal role in main­tain­ing a fair, in­clu­sive and or­ga­nized world or­der. The two per­ma­nent mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil have done well in deal­ing with the nu­clear is­sues in­volv­ing Iran and the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Korea, and there is no rea­son why they should stop their co­op­er­a­tion there.

Since launch­ing re­form and open­ing-up in 1978, China has not only be­come an im­por­tant part of the world or­der in which US plays a key role, but also sought to sup­ple­ment it with the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank.

Aimed at boost­ing re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity and in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion in Eura­sia, the Bei­jing-led pro­pos­als are un­likely to re­shape the post­war world econ­omy, let alone chal­lengeWash­ing­ton’s global lead­er­ship. In­stead, they are in­trin­si­cally in­clu­sive and open to out­side in­vestors in­clud­ing the US.

Un­like the high-level transna­tional trade and in­vest­ment ar­range­ments, such as the TPP, the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and the AIIB are de­signed to pro­vide fi­nanc­ing to gal­va­nize re­gional co­op­er­a­tion and keep ter­ror­ism out of the neigh­bor­hood. It will be a big leap for China and the US both if Xi’s visit makes rec­i­proc­ity an in­te­gral part of the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship, in which both sides en­deavor to op­ti­mize the world or­der to­gether.

The au­thor is a pro­fes­sor of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at Ren­min Univer­sity of China.

LI FENG / CHINA DAILY

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