Active G20 role for China: ex-PM
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.