Ini­tia­tives show global lead­er­ship

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By CE­CILY LIU in Lon­don ce­cily.liu@mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com in Lon­don wang­mingjie@ mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com

China’s con­tin­ued openingup of its econ­omy will help it be­come a good role model for other coun­tries, as glob­al­iza­tion is un­der threat from pro­tec­tion­ist forces in other parts of the world, said Rana Mit­ter, di­rec­tor of the Univer­sity of Ox­ford China Cen­ter.

Mit­ter said China-led ini­tia­tives such as the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank, as well as the coun­try’s com­mit­ment to cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion goals, al­ready demon­strate its global lead­er­ship.

Mit­ter was speak­ing ahead of the 19th CPC Na­tional Con­gress, when the Party will set the coun­try’s strate­gic di­rec­tion and select its lead­ers.

He said it is im­por­tant for the na­tion’s lead­er­ship to reaf­firm at the con­gress com­mit­ment to “an open, global China that will com­mit to mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial in­ter­ac­tion with its neigh­bors and the world”.

Mit­ter, a pro­fes­sor of Chi­nese his­tory and pol­i­tics, said the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity was pleased to hear Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s ad­vo­cacy for glob­al­iza­tion at the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum in Davos, Switzer­land, in Jan­uary.

Xi’s ad­dress at Davos came as Bri­tain started prepa­ra­tions to leave the Euro­pean Union and US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump im­ple­mented pro­tec­tion­ist mea­sures such as pulling the United States out of the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship.

“Around the world in many places peo­ple are be­com­ing fear­ful of the eco­nomic fu­ture. Peo­ple are fear­ful that the old in­dus­tries are not able to pro­vide for them at a time when new tech­nolo­gies are emerg­ing,” Mit­ter said.

“With China cham­pi­oning the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and the AIIB, it is send­ing an im­por­tant sig­nal to the wider

“WITH CHINA CHAM­PI­ONING THE BELT AND ROAD INI­TIA­TIVE AND THE AIIB, IT IS SEND­ING AN IM­POR­TANT SIG­NAL TO THE WIDER WORLD TO CRE­ATE A MORE IN­TE­GRATED ECO­NOMIC RE­LA­TION­SHIP WITH THE WIDER RE­GION.”

world to cre­ate a more in­te­grated eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship with the wider re­gion.”

And as a part of this lead­er­ship role, China should set a good ex­am­ple of free trade by fur­ther open­ing up its econ­omy for in­ter­na­tional ac­cess and fur­ther in­te­grat­ing its fi­nan­cial sys­tem into the in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial sys­tem, he said. “For China to achieve some of its am­bi­tions, such as the in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of the ren­minbi, more trans­parency is needed.”

China’s big­gest achieve­ment in re­cent years has been its abil­ity to main­tain GDP growth de­spite ad­verse ex­ter­nal de­vel­op­ments and do­mes­tic chal­lenges, said Jim O’Neill, the econ­o­mist who coined the acro­nym BRIC.

O’Neill came up with the term in 2001 as a way to de­scribe Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia and China as a group of na­tions at a sim­i­lar stage of newly ad­vanced eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. They were viewed as the eco­nomic pow­er­houses of the fu­ture. South Africa was added nine years later, cre­at­ing the term BRICS.

“China is the only one of the four BRIC coun­tries that, since 2011, has grown in line with my ex­pec­ta­tions,” O’Neill said, ahead of the 19th CPC Na­tional Con­gress. “Brazil and Rus­sia have strug­gled, In­dia has done bet­ter, but China has man­aged to grow at close to 7.5 per­cent for the decade, in line with the of­fi­cial de­sire to dou­ble liv­ing stan­dards this decade.”

O’Neill, a for­mer chief econ­o­mist with Gold­man Sachs, said few large coun­tries have walked the path to­ward pros­per­ity as suc­cess­fully.

As the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy, China’s GDP is close to $12 tril­lion, which is more than twice that of Ja­pan, and larger than all the other Jon Tay­lor,

Some of the big­gest chal­lenges fac­ing China are fur­ther­ing and deep­en­ing sup­ply­side re­form, main­tain­ing eco­nomic sta­bil­ity, cut­ting both air and water pol­lu­tion, keep­ing home prices un­der con­trol, pre­serv­ing the ren­minbi’s value, com­bat­ing cor­rup­tion, and con­fronting the de­mo­graphic pres­sures that have arisen with both an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and in­ter­nal mi­gra­tion of la­bor.

My ad­vice would be to re­mem­ber that China re­mains a de­vel­op­ing coun­try and that its mar­ket re­forms are in­com­plete. Meet­ing the chal­lenges will re­quire strong po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship that will main­tain so­cial sta­bil­ity while pur­su­ing deep­ened re­form. My ad­vice would also in­clude sup­port for greener growth, shift­ing China to a more sus­tain­able en­ergy path and pro­mot­ing sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture prac­tices.

“XI CAN RIGHTLY BE VIEWED AS BOTH A MOD­ERN­IZER AND A RE­FORMER WHO HAS DONE A SU­PERB JOB IN PRO­VID­ING AU­THOR­I­TA­TIVE LEAD­ER­SHIP AND PO­LIT­I­CAL STA­BIL­ITY.”

pro­fes­sor of po­lit­i­cal sci­ence and di­rec­tor of the pub­lic pol­icy and ad­min­is­tra­tion master’s pro­gram at the Univer­sity of St. Thomas, Hous­ton, Texas

Rana Mit­ter, di­rec­tor of the Univer­sity of Ox­ford China Cen­ter

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