G20 must vig­or­ously de­fend mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism

Global Times - Weekend - - OPINION -

The G20 sum­mit kicked off in Buenos Aires, Ar­gentina on Fri­day morn­ing lo­cal time. Ahead of the sum­mit, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump hinted he may im­pose more tar­iffs on im­ported cars, a move which tar­gets Eu­rope. The on­go­ing trade war with China is ex­pand­ing, which is pos­ing greater chal­lenges to mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism and free trade. Ob­servers are wor­ried about whether global di­ver­gences can be cur­tailed and whether a joint com­mu­niqué will be reached at the con­clu­sion of this G20 sum­mit.

Al­most all eyes are on the meet­ing be­tween Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and his US coun­ter­part. If the US-led trade war against China can be ex­tin­guished or eased, the im­pact will be far more reach­ing than that of the mul­ti­lat­eral sum­mit it­self.

Ten years ago, the US was al­most dev­as­tated by the fi­nan­cial cri­sis. The first G20 sum­mit was held at that time, when the US needed the world. But now that Wash­ing­ton has ba­si­cally come out of the cri­sis it is reck­lessly shift­ing to­ward uni­lat­er­al­ism. This is the big­gest prob­lem the world is fac­ing to­day.

Some peo­ple be­lieve that the US is tar­get­ing China in the trade war and other coun­tries will suf­fer no loss or only mi­nor losses. They think if they are lucky, they can even ben­e­fit from Bei­jing-Wash­ing­ton trade con­flicts. Such cal­cu­la­tions are def­i­nitely wrong.

China is the se­cond largest econ­omy, af­ter the US, and is the strong­est power to con­front US uni­lat­er­al­ism. Other economies, even ma­jor pow­ers in Eu­rope, are weaker than China in terms of de­fend­ing them­selves.

In launch­ing the trade war, Wash­ing­ton has its geopo­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions, but eco­nomic in­ter­ests are ob­vi­ously a more im­por­tant pur­suit of the US. The White House will not give up any chance to bully a cow­ardly lion.

The world should by no means give up on mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism. The in­ter­na­tional sys­tem, which is based on mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism, is the um­brella that pro­tects mid­dle-sized and small coun­tries.

Pro­tec­tion of mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism re­quires all coun­tries to look be­yond their tem­po­rary in­ter­ests in a cer­tain pe­riod or a cer­tain case. It should be de­fended as the life­line of the 21st cen­tury.

The world should not only hear the voices of a few ma­jor pow­ers dur­ing the G20 sum­mit, but those of mid­dle-sized and small coun­tries as well. Some ob­servers be­lieve that even though mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism is not dead, it has been “dor­mant.” If that is the case, mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism would not be the only thing that went “dor­mant;” the right of many coun­tries to fight for equal in­ter­ests would have also van­ished. No mat­ter how dif­fi­cult it will be, the G20 sum­mit must vig­or­ously de­fend mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.