G20 summit will yield blueprint for growth
... so the upcoming G20 Summit in Hangzhou can blaze new trails for the world’s economic development.
The lingering effects of the 2008 financial crisis still prevent the global economy from returning to its normal track. The recovery remains both slow and weak, and is full of uncertainties. The risks of further economic slowdown remain, and the financial markets continue to be tumultuous. Trade and investment protectionism is on the increase, and economic development is unbalanced. According to the latestWorld Bank report, the 2016 global growth forecast has been scaled down from 2.9 percent in January to 2.4 percent in June.
At such a critical juncture, China has the duty, the capacity and the confidence to seek greater consensus with the other G20 members, so the upcoming G20 Summit inHangzhou can blaze newtrails for the world’s economic development.
China’s theme for the summit— “Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”— could not be more pertinent.
What is more, China has proposed four principal items for the agenda: exploring more efficient growth models through innovation, improved global economic and financial governance, stronger international trade and investment, and inclusive and interconnected paths of development.
It is essential for the G20 members to agree on practical ways to achieve the theme and agenda.
The core task for theHangzhou Summit is finding newsources of growth and exploring ways to tap their growth potential. The Hangzhou Summit will come up with a “G20 Blueprint for Growthrelated Innovation”. By seizing the newopportunities brought about by emerging newtechnologies, newindustries and newfactors of structural reforms, we can expect to fundamentally solve the problem of weak growth. In the context of this blueprint, the summit will formulate a number of action plans to promote innovation.
The G20 members will strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination and communication with a viewto mitigating the uncertainty and negative spillover effects of their respective policies. In the meantime, the G20 members will undertake not to go for competitive devaluation of their currencies while pledging to step up cooperation in financial oversight, international taxation, energy, anti-corruption and other areas of endeavors. Agreeing to step up the pace of reform of the international financial institutions, including the IMF’s quota system and governance structures, and theWorld Bank’s shareholders’ general meeting system, is also necessary to increase the voice of emerging countries in international financial organizations.
To promote international trade and investment, so as to inject greater vitality into the world economy, theHangzhou Summit will formulate, for the first time, a “G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth” and a “G20 Guideline for Global Investment Policy”. Those G20 members that have not ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement will be pushed to do so by the end of the year so as to advance its implementation as soon as possible.
TheHangzhou Summit will voice an explicit opposition to trade protectionism, and make a decision to extend the “moratoriumon newtrade restraints and protectionist measures” until 2018. Financial policy, fiscal policy and trade and investment policy are often described as the three pillars of global economy. However, the last seems a little too weak. The forthcoming summit should witness a strengthening of that pillar.
For the first time, the Hangzhou Summit will accord top priority to the issue of development within the global macroeconomic framework and formulate an action plan centered on implementing the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Such an action plan will help African countries and the least-developed countries to accelerate their industrialization process and inject powerful impetus to worldwide efforts to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development.
With these outcomes, the G20 Summit inHangzhou will go down as an important milestone in international development.
The author is a senior research fellow at the China Foundation for International Studies. Courtesy: chinausfocus.com
Aug 6 and 9 are days of mourning forHiroshima and Nagasaki. On Aug 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later, it dropped a second one on Nagasaki. Japan surrendered inWorldWar II on Aug 15.
The atomic bombs incinerated buildings and people, leaving lifelong physical and psychological scars on the survivors and the cities.
Since being re-elected Japan’s prime minister in December 2012, Shinzo Abe has attended the two cities’ annual observation days every year. At the latest gathering inHiroshima, he said Japan will “continue to make… efforts to bring about a world free of nuclear weapons by calling for cooperation from both nuclear weapons and non-nuclear weapons’ states”.
But his acts belie his words. Along with Britain, France and the Republic of Korea — all the United States allies— Japan has been privately lobbying the WhiteHouse to not adopt a policy of “no first use” of nuclear weapons that US President Barack Obama is said to be considering.
In fact, Obamacould announce the change inUS nuclear policy in September when he attends theUNGeneralAssembly for the last time asUS president.
The government of Japan has not ruled out a possible use of nuclear weapons by the US. That is broadly at odds with the sentiment of the Japanese public, which does not want a repeat of the ravages of a nuclear attack.
The Japanese media reported that Abe personally intimated AdmiralHarryHarris Jr., the head of the US Pacific Command, of Japan’s concern about US president’s nuclear move, arguing that if Obama declares a no first use policy, deterrence against countries such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will weaken and the risks of conflict will rise.
The Janus-faced Abe has angered Japanese atomic bomb survivors, who say his opposition to Obama’s move is counterproductive to global efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Themayors ofHiroshima and Nagasaki have sent a letter to Obama supporting the US’ potential nuclear policy change, saying the move would “mark an important step toward realizing a world without nuclear weapons”.
In an open letter calling for Japan to support a US no first use policy, 14 US physicists and scholars said the path to a safer world remain blocked as long as the US refuses to make this change.
Putting itself under the US nuclear umbrella, Japan has not supported a no first use policy. Japanese newspaperMainichi Shimbun criticized the Abe administration for going against the trend of nuclear disarmament. And the Asahi Shimbun called the nuclear deterrence theory “a relic of the ColdWar period”.
“The government of Japan has not ruled out a possible use of nuclear weapons by the US. That is broadly at odds with the sentiment of the Japanese public, which does not want a repeat of the ravages of a nuclear attack,” the Asahi Shimbun said.
This newspaper appealed to the Abe administration to seek a security policy that does not rely on the US nuclear umbrella and begin holding talks with Washington to achieve that goal.
Reading a peace declaration on Aug 9, NagasakiMayor Tomihisa Taue appealed to the Japanese government to play a leading role in the efforts to create a nuclear weapons-free zone, a concept that, in his words, embodies mankind’s wisdom.
The Asahi Shimbun’s advice to Abe, who stood beside Obama in Hiroshima inMay: cooperate actively with the US president in his bid to promote the no first use policy.
Yet Abe has made himself a case study in hypocrisy.