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Chinese plan enables the country to play bigger role in globalization

Author  :  Zhang Xin     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2017-03-23

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s keynote speech “Jointly Shoulder the Responsibility of Our Times and Promote Global Growth” at the opening plenary of the 2017 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos made it clear that China is willing to play the role of a major country.

Xi’s words underscored China’s resolve and its courage to advance economic globalization. His proposal for a model of fair and equitable global economic governance sharply contrasts US President Donald Trump’s formulas “America First” and “Buy American and hire American.”

Economic globalization is truly a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it promotes the global division of labor, the formation of a global market as well as economic factor flow and resource allocation between countries, since it breaks the boundaries between regions and nations. It also contributes to international exchanges in economy, education, culture as well as science and technology.

On the other hand, it creates problems like imbalanced development, greater global financial risk, and wealth inequality. Nevertheless, these are only drawbacks of globalization and should not be a reason to oppose to it, which would be akin to ceasing to eat for fear of choking. Globalization is the inevitable historical trend.

In light of the opportunities and challenges, it is imperative for us to explore the new model of globalization to rebalance the world economy. China’s plan was proposed against this backdrop, and it is gaining more attention and welcome from the international community.

China’s reform and opening-up has made great achievements, showing the feasibility of the Chinese plan. Since 1987, China has maintained an average annual growth rate of 9 percent, and it became the world’s second-largest economy in the 21st century. Even after the 2008 financial crisis, it maintained a 7 percent growth amid insufficient domestic and overseas demand as well as restructuring pressure. Now, China’s contribution to the world economy remains above 30 percent, making it an engine and navigator of world economy.

The Belt and Road initiative is a typical model of the Chinese plan. Introduced in 2013, it now has the support of more than 100 countries and international organizations and 40 of them have signed cooperation agreements with China. In addition to advancing China’s export and investment, it promotes connectivity between countries along the route and drives trade and investment cooperation between them, besides bringing about job opportunities. The initiative has a demonstration effect in terms of steering the global economy out of difficulty and improving the global economic governance system.

Balanced and inclusive development is the cornerstone of the Chinese plan. China is willing to participate in and promote globalization while vowing not to engage in a trade and currency war. Nevertheless, looking for a new model of globalization requires the joint efforts of the international community. Now, globalization is being slowed by the rise of trade protectionism, and multilateral trade mechanisms have borne the brunt. There are also other anti-globalization tendencies emerging, including the Brexit as well as Trump’s expressed intent to renegotiate the NAFTA trade agreement and raise taxes on Mexican and Chinese goods.

But, we should know that these phenomena are only temporary adjustments to globalization. We need to pay attention to and reflect on them. But globalization will never be stopped.

Xi said: “We need to have the vision to dissect these problems. More importantly, we need to have the courage to take actions to address them.” The Chinese plan is just what is needed to promote an energetic, inclusive and sustainable global economy, based on analysis of the problems.

 

Zhang Xin is a research fellow from the School of Economics and Management at Tongji University.

Editor: Yu Hui

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