China’s role in build­ing an open world

China Daily (Canada) - - VIEWS -

What can the world ex­pect from China amid the in­creas­ing un­cer­tain­ties fac­ing glob­al­iza­tion?

In sharp con­trast to US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s in­au­gu­ral speech on Jan 20, which cen­tered on the United States and trum­peted pro­tec­tion­ism, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s speech at the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum in Davos in Jan­uary fo­cused on the world and ad­vo­cated glob­al­iza­tion.

En­cour­aged by the elec­tion of Trump who ad­vo­cates anti-glob­al­iza­tion and pro­pro­tec­tion­ism, as US pres­i­dent, right-wing forces and pop­ulist lead­ers are try­ing to con­sol­i­date their po­lit­i­cal po­si­tions in sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries and thus pose a threat to glob­al­iza­tion, global gov­er­nance and mul­ti­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion.

By pur­su­ing pro­tec­tion­ism, pop­ulism and uni­lat­er­al­ism, Trump has cre­ated un­cer­tain­ties for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and global trade. And fac­ing a Trum­pled US that is hell-bent on shirk­ing its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as the world’s sole su­per­power, the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is in­creas­ingly look­ing to China for guid­ance and lead­er­ship.

Speak­ing in Davos, Xi em­pha­sized that China has greatly ben­e­fited from glob­al­iza­tion. But, he said, China has also made huge con­tri­bu­tions to global trade and gov­er­nance, and its eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment has cre­ated im­mense op­por­tu­ni­ties for the world. For in­stance, China’s fast­grow­ing econ­omy has been a prin­ci­pal driver of global growth, and the in­ter­ac­tive de­vel­op­ment it pur­sues with other coun­tries has pro­moted a bal­anced global econ­omy.

Be­sides, by alle­vi­at­ing poverty on an un­prece­dented scale, China has con­trib­uted to in­clu­sive global growth and its con­tin­ued ef­forts to deepen re­form and openingup have played a big role in build­ing an open world econ­omy.

Many may see Xi’s re­marks in Davos as a rev­e­la­tion of China’s am­bi­tion to be­come the most pow­er­ful coun­try in the world. But the fact is, the re­marks re­flect China’s ef­forts to fol­low the trends of the times and re­sist the ad­verse cur­rents, in or­der to forge a peace­ful and pros­per­ous global en­vi­ron­ment.

China does not have any in­ten­tion of leading the world by it­self. On the con­trary, it seeks to work with other coun­tries to make the world a bet­ter place. De­spite its no­table eco­nomic and social progress, China is still a de­vel­op­ing coun­try and it should not shoul­der global re­spon­si­bil­i­ties be­yond its ca­pa­bil­ity.

That China has taken some ini­tia­tives to ful­fill its in­ter­na­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties does not mean it will aban­don its pol­icy of “keep­ing a low pro­file”; it means China is mak­ing more ac­tive ef­forts to main­tain its global pres­ence com­men­su­rate with its na­tional strength.

Amid the “rise” of the East and “fall” of theWest and in­creas­ing un­cer­tain­ties fac­ing glob­al­iza­tion, China will con­tinue fol­low­ing its decades-long pol­icy of not as­pir­ing to be a world leader.

How­ever, it should try to strike a strate­gic bal­ance visa-vis the global sit­u­a­tion. To be­gin with, China should try to strike a bal­ance between do­mes­tic and for­eign strate­gic tasks, ac­cord­ing priority to deep­en­ing re­forms at home and pro­mot­ing eq­uity and jus­tice glob­ally. It also needs to strike a bal­ance between the pur­suit of growth and main­tain­ing do­mes­tic sta­bil­ity. These two are equally im­por­tant tasks in these times of chaotic global sit­u­a­tions.

To pro­mote glob­al­iza­tion and bet­ter global gov­er­nance, China should also try to strike a bal­ance between its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and rights; it should not only ful­fill its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as a big de­vel­op­ing coun­try but also con­tinue to make ef­forts to have a big­ger say in in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions.

More­over, keep­ing a low pro­file does not mean China should al­ways re­main pas­sive. It has to strongly re­spond to false charges and re­act against provoca­tive moves by other coun­tries.

China should also main­tain a bal­ance between strug­gle and co­op­er­a­tion. To off­set the threat posed by the antiglob­al­iza­tion moves and hege­monic be­hav­iors of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, China needs to strengthen cri­sis man­age­ment and launch tar­geted coun­ter­mea­sures. And it should make ef­forts to deepen co­op­er­a­tion with the Euro­pean Union and other BRICS coun­tries, in a bid to in­crease the num­ber of friendly coun­tries that will help boost glob­al­iza­tion and pro­mote bet­ter global gov­er­nance.

China does not have any in­ten­tion of leading the world by it­self. On the con­trary, it seeks to work with other coun­tries to make the world a bet­ter place.

The au­thor is a senior re­searcher in world pol­i­tics at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions.

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