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China and the World in the New Era

China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-28 10:27

Only through cooperation based on mutual respect and mutual benefit can major countries sustain human progress. Coordination and cooperation should be strengthened to build a stable and balanced framework of relations among major countries, which underpins world peace and stability. Major countries should respect each other's core interests and major concerns, build deeper mutual understanding, and settle differences and disputes through constructive communication and consultation.

Big countries should treat small ones as equals rather than acting as hegemons imposing their will on others. No country should create havoc by launching ill-considered and arbitrary wars or undermining the international rule of law. Disputes and problems should be settled through dialogue and consultation on an equal footing and with the maximum sincerity and patience.

4. Promoting a new model of economic globalization

Economic globalization is an irreversible consequence of global economic development. It conforms to the trend of the times towards development and cooperation. Economic globalization has greatly facilitated trade, investment, flows of people, and technological advances, and benefitted the peoples of all countries, making an important contribution to world economic development. However, it has also caused a number of problems and encountered some setbacks. The current model of economic globalization cannot reflect the voices or represent the interests of developing countries. The law of the jungle and zero-sum games featuring the practice of "winner-takes-all" have exacerbated the divide between the rich and poor, as evidenced by the widening gap between developed and developing countries, and the gap between the rich and poor within developed countries (see Box 12).

Box 12 Economic Globalization Is a Double-Edged Sword

Economic globalization has promoted world economic development. According to World Bank data, global GDP in current US dollars grew 25-fold from US$2.96 trillion in 1970 to US$74 trillion in 2015. WTO statistics show that global trade grew over 50-fold from US$300 billion in 1970 to US$16 trillion in 2016. According to UN statistics, the global population living in extreme poverty dropped from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015, surpassing the target of reducing extreme poverty rates by half under the UN Millennium Development Goals.

It should also be noted that the world is faced with a growing economic imbalance characterized by a widening gap between the North and South and between the rich and poor. Many developing countries are beset with poverty and consequential social problems such as hunger, disease and conflict. According to "Global Wealth Report 2016" from the Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI), the 3.5 billion adults at the bottom of the global wealth pyramid own a mere 2.4 percent of global wealth, less than US$10,000 per capita. An MGI 2016 report shows that about 70 percent of households in 25 advanced economies - the equivalent of more than 500 million people - experienced flat or falling incomes from 2005 to 2014. Globally, more than 700 million remain in extreme poverty, and the Gini coefficient has risen past the 0.6 threshold of very high income inequality to approximately 0.7.

Some countries have ascribed domestic governance problems to economic globalization or other countries, and resorted to unilateral, protectionist, and hegemonic actions. This approach has damaged the global value, supply and consumption chains, and caused turbulence and conflict in the current international trade order, driving the world economy towards the "recession trap".

We should not be intimidated by the problems encountered by economic globalization. Withdrawing from international organizations and treaties, decoupling foreign trade relations, and building border walls lead us nowhere. Our problems can only be solved through a process of reform and self-improvement. All countries should join forces to draw lessons from history, strengthen coordination, enhance governance, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.

A new model of economic globalization should be developed and shaped by all countries. It should make innovations and improvements based on those rules and institutions that have proven effective in practice, such as trade liberalization and multilateral trade. It should eliminate hegemonism, power politics, the law of the jungle, and zero-sum games, uphold the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and realize democracy, equality, fairness and equity. It should help to build an open world economy, promote world peace and stability, and bring common development and prosperity.

The ongoing fourth technological revolution will have immeasurable impact on a new wave of economic globalization and on the development of human society, bringing unprecedented opportunities for development as well as serious challenges. All countries should join together and take prompt action in building a new framework for global governance with the vision of a global community of shared future. We need to establish relevant rules and standards that facilitate technological innovation and development while ensuring the bottom line of human security. We should accommodate the interests of all countries and in particular those of the developing countries. It is unfair to apply the standards and security rules of developed countries or individual countries to all the other countries. It is essential to respect the sovereignty of every country. No country should seek technological hegemony, interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries, or engage in, connive in, or shield technological activities that undermine other countries' security. Based on multilateralism, mutual respect and mutual trust, all countries should conduct extensive dialogue and cooperation, and build a system of technological rules and a framework for international cooperation that ensure peace, security, democracy, transparency, inclusiveness and benefits for all. It is necessary for all countries to uphold social equity and justice, place technological innovation under the rule of law and internationally recognized norms, and ensure that innovation is by the people, for the people, and consistent with human values.

5. Upholding the international system with the UN at its core

The international order underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter has accommodated the interests of the majority of countries and promoted world peace and development. Blatant violations of international law and the basic norms of international relations in pursuit of self-interest will plunge the world into a precarious situation characterized by chaos, confrontation and conflict. Hegemony will put justice in peril. The international community should work resolutely together to develop democratic international relations, safeguard the ethical and legal norms that are vital to human survival and development, and uphold international equity and justice.

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