The chaos in the US under Donald Trump's presidency may last for a while, but it could be an opportunity to gather global forces together to advance globalization.
In the first few weeks, the new president has battled the courts over a controversial immigration order banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries, launched ferocious attacks on the media, and strained relations with traditional allies. The forced resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn was considered as "a troubling indication of the dysfunction of the current national security apparatus" according to veteran Republican John McCain, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Trump's election was driven by voters' anger and frustration against elitism and globalization, and he was elected in the hope of bringing back manufacturing jobs and improving people's livelihoods. However, the new president has stumbled from one mess to another. There is no clear sign how Trump can unite the country to "make America great again," and the harsh reality is that the country is even more polarized and divided than ever before. According to the latest polls, Trump has the lowest approval rating of any new president.
The situation, if it continues, will have an adverse effect on globalization. Inner confusion and conflicts will distract the US' attention from global affairs. The US after all is the sole superpower in the world and a main upholder of international order. Without US participation or with US objections, the reconstruction of global order is unlikely.
From the very beginning, Trump's egocentrism and protectionism have upset the outside world. It should be also noted that the US political chaos and dysfunction also offer an opportunity for other countries to more actively engage in rebuilding global order. If we cannot expect the US to play an active role, other global powers, including China, should enhance coordination to promote globalization and multilateralism and establish a new order of global governance.
Globalization has powered global growth in the past few decades. Given the heavy economic interdependence among countries, the only way out for global economic woes is to make concerted efforts to strengthen management on globalization so as to make it better serve the people. Current platforms such as the G20 and BRICS summits should be effectively used.
For China, it's important for the country to carry out the One Belt and One Road initiative smoothly, through which countries along the route can benefit from enhanced connectivity and new rules for global trade can be built.
There is growing demand for China to play a major role in further promoting globalization. China now has become more powerful and should meet the expectations of the world.