Ac­tive G20 role for China: ex-PM

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG RU in Bei­jing wan­gru@chi­

Former Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Paul Martin said that China should play an im­por­tant role in strength­en­ing mul­ti­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in the G20.

Dur­ing a di­a­logue hosted by the Cana­dian Em­bassy in Bei­jing last week, Martin, who came to Bei­jing to at­tend a financial fo­rum, met Chi­nese econ­o­mists and gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives to ex­change opin­ions on Canada-China bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and the G20.

Martin was prime min­is­ter of Canada from 2003 to 2006, and min­is­ter of fi­nance from 1993 to 2002. He was also the in­au­gu­ral chair­man of the Fi­nance Min­is­ters’ G20 in 1999.

Un­der Martin’s lead­er­ship, Canada chaired the first three G20 meet­ings of fi­nance min­is­ters and cen­tral bank gov­er­nors. In 2010, Canada hosted the fourth G20 lead­ers sum­mit.

Martin told Hu Shuli, editor-inchief of Caixin Me­dia, that China should play an im­por­tant role in strength­en­ing the great mul­ti­lat­eral in­sti­tu­tions that make glob­al­iza­tion work.

“Now and over the years to come, the is­sues the G20 will have to con­front will be as var­ied as there are peb­bles on the beach,” said Martin.

He said is­sues such as cli­mate change, global financial sta­bil­ity and refugees are be­com­ing chal­lenges across the globe.

“In to­day’s in­ter­de­pen­dent world, the fur­ther­ance of a coun­try’s self-in­ter­est will de­pend more and more on the de­gree to which it rec­og­nizes the global in­ter­est,” Martin said.

“Can the G20 con­tinue to re­main aloof? Morally no, but nei­ther can it in terms of its duty to the fu­ture, for the pain of un­told num­bers of young peo­ple who are raised in refugee camps, bear­ing an un­der­stand­able grudge against an un­fair world, will cer­tainly be paid for by our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren,” he said.

In terms of global financial sta­bil­ity, he said the world should clearly re­mem­ber the les­son of the sub­prime mort­gage mess in 2007 that be­gan in the US but brought the world to the edge of re­ces­sion.

“Only a cou­ple of months ago we were given an­other in­di­ca­tion of how pow­er­ful economies can shake global con­fi­dence when the Chi­nese stock mar­ket suf­fered a dra­matic cor­rec­tion and mar­kets around the world felt the shud­der,” he added.

He said is­sues such as cy­ber­se­cu­rity, Africa’s econ­omy and car­bon emis­sions should be ad­dressed in par­tic­u­lar as China’s sum­mit ap­proaches next year.

“Mr. Martin’s visit is very timely. As we all know, the 2016 G20 Sum­mit will be held in Hangzhou, and the world’s eyes will be cast on China,” said Guy Saint-Jacques, the Cana­dian am­bas­sador to China.

“We are pleased that China will host the G20 next year, and firmly be­lieve that through greater ef­forts to co­or­di­nate macroe­co­nomic and financial poli­cies, we will be able to re­in­force the role of the G20 in global eco­nomic gov­er­nance and sup­port the G20 frame­work to en­sure stronger, more sus­tain­able and bal­anced growth,” said the am­bas­sador.

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