Pres­i­dent’s G20 speech wins praise world­wide

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Front Page -

In­ter­na­tional ex­perts ap­plauded Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s speech at the G20 Lead­ers’ Sum­mit for pro­mot­ing mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism, global co­op­er­a­tion and free trade at a time when the world is fac­ing a surge in uni­lat­er­al­ism and pro­tec­tion­ism.

Xi called on G20 mem­ber states to stay com­mit­ted to open­ness and co­op­er­a­tion, up­hold the mul­ti­lat­eral trad­ing sys­tem, forge strong part­ner­ships and step up macro pol­icy co­or­di­na­tion.

Ad­dress­ing the first ses­sion of the 13th G20 sum­mit in Buenos Aires, the Ar­gen­tine cap­i­tal, on Fri­day he also urged com­mit­ment to in­no­va­tion to cre­ate new mo­men­tum for growth and to win-win co­op­er­a­tion to pro­mote in­clu­sive global de­vel­op­ment.

“Fac­ing var­i­ous chal­lenges, we must have a stronger sense of ur­gency, be ra­tio­nal in ap­proach and look be­yond the hori­zon. We must ful­fill our re­spon­si­bil­ity and steer the global econ­omy in the right di­rec­tion,” said Xi, who was at­tend­ing a G20 sum­mit for the sixth time since his first in St. Peters­burg, Rus­sia, in 2013.

Luigi Gam­bardella, pres­i­dent of the Brus­sels-based Chi­naEU, an in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy plat­form, said Xi’s speech sends a clear and firm mes­sage that China will con­tinue to sup­port the mul­ti­lat­eral sys­tem and global co­op­er­a­tion, par­tic­u­larly at a time when the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is faced with un­prece­dented un­cer­tain­ties and risks posed by uni­lat­er­al­ism and pro­tec­tion­ism.

“China’s com­mit­ment to open­ness and co­op­er­a­tion at G20, which was con­vened fol­low­ing the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis to jointly work to boost global growth, is of great sig­nif­i­cance to the world econ­omy, of which China is a driv­ing force,” he said.

Statis­tics show that the coun­try has con­trib­uted more than 30 per­cent of global growth in the past decade.

Gam­bardella said China’s position is very close to Eu­rope’s on open­ness of mar­kets, fol­low­ing World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion rules, and spurring in­no­va­tion for growth. “The two sides should work to­gether in th­ese ar­eas and be­come re­li­able part­ners,” he said.

David Gos­set, founder of the Eu­rope-China Fo­rum, said Xi’s speech at the first G20 sum­mit held in Latin Amer­ica is a clear reaf­fir­ma­tion of China’s com­mit­ment to in­clu­sive eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and global sta­bil­ity in a world of un­prece­dented in­ter­de­pen­dence.

“In a time marked by fears, ir­ra­tional­i­ties and con­fu­sion, Xi Jin­ping is rightly call­ing for a ra­tio­nal ap­proach to solve the is­sues we col­lec­tively face,” he said.

Gos­set be­lieves China’s open­ness and pre­dictabil­ity has be­come a key sta­bi­liz­ing fac­tor in a world of risks and un­cer­tain­ties.

The G20 con­sists of 19 de­vel­op­ing and de­vel­oped coun­tries plus the Eu­ro­pean Union. Their economies com­bined ac­count for 86 per­cent of the world’s GDP and 80 per­cent of global trade. The sum­mit has be­come a ma­jor fo­rum for global eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion.

Ra­jneesh Bhuee, a con­sul­tant econ­o­mist with Chalk­stone Mo­saic, a strate­gic po­lit­i­cal and so­cial risk man­age­ment com­pany in Nairobi, the Kenyan cap­i­tal, said Xi’s “in­sight­ful and mo­ti­vat­ing speech” could not have come at a bet­ter time.

“As he notes, this is a time for the global com­mu­nity to unite and steer the econ­omy in the right di­rec­tion and away from head­winds in­clud­ing the anti-glob­al­iza­tion wave,” she said.

Bhuee said Xi’s speech touched on cur­rent and much-needed so­lu­tions in push­ing for global eco­nomic growth and pos­i­tive Sino-African re­la­tions that will al­low African coun­tries to boost their eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment through im­ple­ment­ing projects geared to­ward sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and in­no­va­tion.

An­drew Cainey, an as­so­ciate fel­low with the Asia-Pa­cific pro­gram at in­de­pen­dent pol­icy in­sti­tute Chatham House in London, said Xi’s speech ar­tic­u­lates the lead­er­ship role that China is now tak­ing on at a time when the United States is tak­ing a step back.

“I think Xi made con­struc­tive com­ments in un­der­lin­ing sup­port for global gov­er­nance and ad­just­ments/re­form to make global gov­ern­ment work bet­ter,” he said.

Clif­ford Kira­cofe, a for­mer se­nior staff mem­ber with the US Se­nate Com­mit­tee on For­eign Re­la­tions, said, “In the face of a slow­ing global econ­omy, the last thing we need is a trade war which hurts China and the US and also the rest of the world.”

He said Xi is right to em­pha­size a global per­spec­tive, adding, “The glob­al­iza­tion process must be fair to all par­ties and it must take into ac­count di­ver­sity and dif­fer­ent mod­els of de­vel­op­ment.”

Ju­lian Beer, a pro­fes­sor and deputy vice-chan­cel­lor of Birm­ing­ham City Univer­sity in the United King­dom, said Xi’s speech high­lighted that eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and so­cial risks were ris­ing glob­ally and he was “so very right to do so”.

“We are in one of the most chal­leng­ing and un­cer­tain times I can re­mem­ber,” Beer said.

Ti­mov An­dreev, an in­ter­na­tional ex­pert with the Val­dai In­ter­na­tional Dis­cus­sion Club, a Moscow think tank, praised Xi for say­ing that mu­tual trust and mu­tual re­spect are the most im­por­tant fac­tors in in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions.

“As the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy, good re­la­tions be­tween China and other coun­tries con­trib­ute to the sta­bil­ity of the world,” he said.

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Tang Ying in Nairobi, Ren Qi in Moscow, Wang Mingjie in London, Dong Leshuo in Wash­ing­ton and Chang Jun in San Fran­cisco con­trib­uted to this story.

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