Beijing must make its concerns heard at B20 after proposal runs contrary to nation’s interests

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/7 21:48:39

Chinese business circles are resolutely opposed to the report of policy proposals from the B20 summit 2018 held in Buenos Aires, saying the summit one-sidedly singled out certain topics including State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and ignored concerns from the Chinese side, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Unilateralism and trade protectionism are mounting, dealing a severe blow to the global economy. As the number of targets increases, a global response has become urgent. Free trade versus protectionism is a topic of intense great debate at most multilateral occasions. If the B20 focuses on less important topics such as SOEs, its role in global economic governance is likely to be marginalized.

As China moves away from a centrally planned economy to a market-based economy, a top priority for the nation is to reform its SOE sector. The SOEs made headway in establishing modern enterprise systems before China became a member of the WTO in 2001. Now, the focus should be whether China's SOEs can adhere to the rules and obligations of the WTO system, which is based on market-based principles, instead of each enterprise's ownership structure. Western countries always take a dim view of China's SOEs, but doing so is totally unnecessary and unreasonable.

China has enjoyed nearly 30 years of explosive growth, making it the world's largest emerging economy. The country has both the right and good reasons to maintain its economic characteristics, adopting the principle of neutrality in dealing with enterprises of different ownerships.

China has contributed more than 30 percent of global economic growth over the past several years. The country has participated in every step of the G20's history.

The B20 summit should not ignore the concerns of Chinese businesses. China must express its demands in a direct way and reach a consensus with other countries through consultations.

If some Western countries try to manipulate the B20 and sacrifice the interests of Chinese businesses, Beijing has no reason to endorse a B20 proposal that runs contrary to Chinese people's interests.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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