By He Yafei–The old world balance of power and global governance system have been undergoing dramatic changes, especially in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008.
The collective rise of the developing world, with China at its helm, has overturned the world’s political and economic landscape, as the old global governance system and international order, once dominated by the West, has shifted to a model governed by the East and West together.
International relations likewise have undergone dramatic changes. Though the US and its fellow Western countries have accepted this reality, they have failed to fully adjust to the new status quo. Their “strategic anxiety” has made major-power relations even more complicated and sensitive.
Amid the steady decline of global trade resulting from the slow recovery of the world economy, all countries are now exploring new ways to achieve economic growth and global governance, having realized the importance of new drivers, new thoughts and new models in revitalizing the world economy.
Meanwhile, China’s economic miracle and stable system of governance, achieved on the back of its successful reform and opening-up policy, have made it stand out against the sluggish world economy. As a result, the Chinese way of development has attracted significant attention from the international community.
Global governance has faced further obstacles resulting from political and economic factors. Conflicts have emerged surrounding dealing with deficits, the phenomenon of fragmentation, as well as the growing economic pressures brought by globalization.
For instance, because of a lack of political support, the West has given the global trade system represented by the WTO the cold shoulder, while global trade agreements such as the Doha Development Round remained stagnant.
At the same time, the widening wealth gap and other negative effects caused by globalization have given rise to emerging anti-globalization and populist sentiment. An escalating conflict between globalization and anti-globalization forces poses a threat to the global system of trade and investment.
Such changes suggest a new era of globalization and a historic transition to a new system of global governance. Standing at this juncture, China’s relations with the world are undergoing critical changes, as China’s destiny is closely tied to that of the world economic system. Against this backdrop, we see that China faces a historic test in terms of its future role in global governance.
China will, first of all, keep contributing to the world order and global governance system. The country is dedicated to building a new type of international relations centered on win-win cooperation. Such ties, meeting the needs of the international community, do not aim to set up a new system by “destroying or revising” the current one as some observers in the West have claimed.
To this end, we must resolutely safeguard the free, open and equal trade and investment system represented by the WTO, keep promoting further reforms, and improve global economic and financial mechanisms.
China will, at the same time, act as a provider of global public goods. It will not only contribute Chinese proposals by absorbing the essence of Chinese culture, but provide new ideas, solutions and choices for the world to promote democratic international relations, establish new cooperative partnerships, boost the world economy, and improve the global governance system, thus providing the world with global public goods by playing its role as a major power.
China will also safeguard world peace and development. Fully aware of the relationship between peace and development, China will make efforts to abandon the parochialism and prejudice dominating today’s geopolitics, and avoid the Thucydides trap, in order to create a favorable political and security environment that is conducive to promoting free trade.
In a word, China will contribute to perfecting global governance by playing a more active role in improving the global governance system, increasing the influence of developing nations via platforms like the UN, WTO, G20 and BRICS, and restructuring the world order in the new century.
(The author is a former Chinese vice foreign minister and counselor at the Center for China and Globalization)
(Source: People’s Daily)