In­ter­con­nected world the only way to make progress

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - XI'S VISIT - By LI YANG Liyang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

If there’s one word that may come to de­fine the com­mon ap­proach to tack­ling the global po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic chal­lenges of the early 21st cen­tury, it’s “in­ter­con­nected”.

Not only is it the key de­scrip­tion of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, which in­volves 64 per­cent of the world pop­u­la­tion, but it also is the theme of the 2016 and 2017 sum­mits of the Group of 20 states, which col­lec­tively ac­count for 80 per­cent of the global econ­omy.

China and Ger­many, the pre­vi­ous and cur­rent sum­mit hosts, are strong de­fend­ers of glob­al­iza­tion.

In Septem­ber 2016, the G20 Sum­mit in Hangzhou called for the build­ing of an “in­ter­con­nected” world econ­omy. Ger­many has cho­sen “Shap­ing an In­ter­con­nected World” as the theme for this week’s sum­mit in Ham­burg.

That is not a coin­ci­dence, but a tes­ti­mony to the two ma­jor economies’ shared stance at this global cross­roads. They are ex­cel­lent ex­am­ples of suc­cess in mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion, free trade and glob­al­iza­tion.

But rather than ob­sta­cles to trade, their so­cial, cul­tural, gov­er­nance and eco­nomic dif­fer­ences are com­ple­men­tary. They show the rea­son for the strength­en­ing of ties that has paved the way for co­op­er­a­tion and syn­er­gies on key poli­cies like the Made in China 2025 plan and Ger­many’s In­dus­try 4.0 strat­egy.

How­ever, a re­cent rise in iso­la­tion­ism, pro­tec­tion­ism and uni­lat­er­al­ism poses a chal­lenge to in­ter­con­nec­tion. Ex­am­ples in­clude the Amer­ica-first pol­icy, the UK’s Brexit vote and the US with­drawal from the Paris cli­mate ac­cord.

Yet ter­ror at­tacks in Euro­pean cap­i­tals and the refugee cri­sis across the re­gion stem from po­lit­i­cal tur­moil in the Mid­dle East and are not just lo­cal but global chal­lenges. Stock mar­kets across the world af­fect each other much more than they did just a few years ago.

In Ham­burg, China will back Ger­man pro­pos­als on joint ef­forts on cli­mate change, free trade, eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion, poverty and ter­ror­ism.

Such rec­i­proc­ity arises from a shared vi­sion and a sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity to the rest of the world, or the “hu­man com­mu­nity shar­ing the same des­tiny”, as Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping put it.

After the US with­drawal from the Paris cli­mate ac­cord, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel has put cli­mate change high on the agenda at Ham­burg. It’s an is­sue that ex­poses the risk of di­vi­sion and the ne­ces­sity of be­ing in­ter­con­nected.

ZHANG DUO/ XIN­HUA

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pre­sides over a meet­ing of BRICS coun­tries — Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa — dur­ing the G20 Sum­mit in Ham­burg on Fri­day. Xi en­cour­aged the group to play a lead­ing role in im­prov­ing global gov­er­nance and back­ing African na­tions and other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

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