China becomes engine of globalization

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/1/18 19:33:39

Editor's Note:

On Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. In the speech, Xi showed China's support for globalization. With the emergence of populism across the West, it seems the momentum of globalization is winding down. What is the significance of China supporting globalization? What role can China play in globalization? How should the world react to anti-globalization? Global Times reporters Yang Chuchu and Zhou Jiaxin interviewed two scholars.

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs, Renmin University of China

China actively supporting globalization is of great significance. It indicates that China is not overturning the current global order, but is expressing the concerns of developing countries.

Globalization is the trend of the times. Western countries do not entirely oppose globalization but object to some aspects of it. For example, the US supports financial liberalization and free flow of information, which are major attributors of globalization. The reason for the US to set up restrictions on trade and investment is to lure multinational companies back to the US and create jobs for the locals. Therefore, the US is not really opposed to globalization.

China accounts for one-third of the global economic growth. China is not only a big trading power but also a strong investor. In the future, when it becomes an import and investment power, China will have more influence on economic globalization and global affairs. China's confidence is accumulated in such a process of structural change.

The China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the One Belt and One Road initiative are examples of system innovation and have received widespread response from around the world. By using China's approaches and the East's wisdom to address problems in globalization, China has accumulated a certain amount of experience. China does not just talk about ideas but can offer some practical initiatives.

Globalization should be more inclusive and balanced. It needs to benefit more people by achieving a balanced development of different regions as well as growth in both new and old industries. Only by doing this can sustainable development be realized in the process of globalization.

To sum up: first, China is leading the direction of global development. Second, China has become the driver of globalization. Third, China is the provider and advocator for new approaches. It has become increasingly evident that China is becoming the engine of globalization, just as it becomes the engine of world economic growth.

Shi Zhiqin, professor of International Relations, Tsinghua University

The world politics and economics are full of uncertainties. Anti-globalization sentiments fuelled by terrorism, the refugee crisis, a sluggish economy and climate change have been frustrating the political leaders, as well as the public.

The WEF is an important platform to discuss economic globalization. The biggest economy since the end of WWII, the US, had strongly advocated globalization until the shocking victory of President-elect Donald Trump who has bluntly opposed to globalization.

China has grown to become the second-largest economy in the process of globalization. At a time when populism and protectionism are rising, China's support for globalization is of particular significance and could help build more confidence on the global economy.

Some blame globalization for the world's chaos. But their views are skewed. Globalization empowers human development and it is an irreversible trend. But if not properly controlled, globalization will lead to problems such as imbalanced development and high unemployment rate. This requires us to establish an effective global governance mechanism to curb the negative effects of globalization rather than merely blindly criticizing it.

Because of the industrial transfer caused by globalization, some states of the US have become "losers" in the process. The resulting wealth gap and high unemployment rate made it convincing for Trump's anti-globalization rhetoric during his presidential campaign. That rhetoric will fall flat if they are practiced in the trade deal. Protectionism doesn't conform to the world trend and speaking against globalization is not the key to solving the problems.

China once had debates and worries at the beginning of the reform and opening-up, as well as voices opposing integration into the world economy. With ongoing economic innovation and structural adjustments, many enterprises have gained vitality.

China has reversed its unfavorable balance of trade and exported a great deal of goods. The US was accustomed to a favorable condition in globalization. It is unwise to retreat in front of setbacks.

Political leaders should deal with the world's conundrums with an open, inclusive and cooperative mind. Politicians should not be swayed by populism. Instead, they should wisely guide the public, ushering in courage and confidence to come up with solutions.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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