By XuQinduo cri
After growing for more than 30 years, China now stands as the second largest economy in the world, despite remaining a developing country. So here’s the question: what kind of power China is? What’s China’s ambition? How different will it be from previous powers?
We may have some clues from the G20 summit in Hangzhou, when Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke at a gathering of business leaders. The speech was delivered when China is in the focus to help transform the group of the world’s largest economies from responding to crisis in 2008 with short-term policies to a role of global economic governance with medium- to long-term policies.
Public goods provider
“China’s development has benefited from the international community, and we are ready to provide more public goods to the international community,” said President Xi.
Here comes the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, or simply called “One Belt One Road”. OBOR aims to connect the countries respectively from China to Europe and from China to Southeast Asia, east Africa and southern European countries through road and other infrastructure construction.
In China’s own experience, infrastructure investment benefits long-term economic growth. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is another signature project initiated by China in the same category. There’ll be a tremendous shortage of investment in Asia’s infrastructure construction, according to a World Bank report. China, with a foreign reserve of over three trillion dollars, is well in a the position to lead such an effort.
A garden shared by all
Unfortunately, AIIB has been often misinterpreted by some media as a counterweight to World Bank dominated by the United States, despite the fact that the AIIB initiative was warmly embraced by 57 countries including those developed nations such as the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Australia. The suspicion is that China might intend to replace the US to become the number one country in the world.
Responding to the doubts, President Xi stressed that the new mechanisms and initiatives are not intended to reinvent the wheels or target any other country.
“Rather, they aim to complement and improve the current international mechanisms.” He spoke in a very direct way that “China’s opening drive is not a one-man show.” As shown in AIIB, the latest applicant has been Canada and the membership is expected to reach nearly 90 at the end of this year.
“It is a pursuit not to establish China’s own sphere of influence, but to support common development of all countries. It is meant to build not China’s own backyard garden, but a garden shared by all countries,” said Xi Jinping.
The human being has entered the 21st century, why can’t our mentality move along to view the world in a different way? Rather than “domination”, what about “sharing”?
Leading force against climate change
Joining hands with the US, China has officially approved the Paris global climate agreement. The two countries are responsible for about 38% of world’s carbon emissions. Their latest move on the eve of the G20 summit is significant in that the ratification by Beijing and Washington is to generate pressure on other countries to follow suit to decrease their reliance on fossil fuels. In order o make the Paris Agreement a reality, it requires the approval of the deal by at least 55 countries.
The approval is also significant because it shows that, despite their differences, the two strongest powers can work together to save our Mother Earth.
Voice of developing countries
China has always been an advocate for the interests of developing countries. As pointed out By Xi Jinping that “G20 works for the interest of not just its 20 members, but the whole world”.
To realize the goal, this year’s G20 has, for the first time, put the issue of development front and center of the global macro policy framework.
The Hangzhou Summit has for the first time included the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, agreed upon by nations at a UN summit, and for the first time, cooperation is being carried out to support African countries and Least Developed Countries in their industrialization.
This year’s summit has the largest number of developing countries with additional invitation extended to countries like Egypt, Kazakhstan, Laos, Chad and Senegal.
New drivers in innovation
One of the new agenda items of the Hangzhou Summit is “breaking a new path for growth,” referring to innovation. This is the first time that the G20 takes action on innovation.
In today’s world, we see fast changes in new scientific and technological revolution. The word”s industries are being upgraded to a new level. Our habits are increasingly shaping our economy in a “digital” way.
In Hangzhou, for example, you can go out simply with a mobile phone in hand, thanks to the convenient digital payment system in almost everything, including the bus fares.
One of the documents of the G20 summit is a Blueprint on Innovative Growth. The purpose is, according Xi Jinping, to “seek impetus through innovation and vitality through reform.”
If growth is to be achieved, hopefully the fragmentation, isolationist ideas or the sentiment of anti-globalization will be avoided and mitigated. That will have a deep positive effect on sustainable peace and security.
China has created a miracle over the past three decades in its amazing growth and transformation. It’s sharing its experiences of growth and providing public goods to the international community.
If action speaks louder than words, then we see in China not only the rise of a big and strong country, but also an open, benign, responsible power coming to the center of the international stage. (The Daily Mail – CRI news exchange item)
Special coverage on China's Two Party Sessions by The Daily Mail - People's Daily