Foreign and Military Affairs

'China can help stem financial greed'

By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-06 09:18
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NICE, France - When the world hit the lowest point of the financial crisis last year, former French prime minister Michel Rocard warned the West about the danger of ignoring China's role in bringing the global financial system to order.

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While President Hu Jintao and his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, who will take the presidency of the next G20 summit, were in talks this week, Rocard said the West had responded well by bringing China into negotiations about global financial regulation.

"China's role and responsibility should be well reflected in the process of solving the global problems, and I think dialogue with mutual respect is vital to achieve that," Rocard, former leader of the French Socialist Party and a member of the European Parliament, told China Daily from Paris during a phone interview on Friday.

'China can help stem financial greed'

Last summer, Rocard had been disappointed that the international community had achieved little in its quest to remove excessive speculation and greed from the financial sector since the start of the global financial crisis.

He proposed a timetable of talks in which China and Europe should grasp the historic opportunity to start talks on regulating the global financial system, paving the way for the United States to join the process at a later date.

Rocard had suggested that the US should not initially have a seat at the table because the Obama administration had, at that stage, failed to come up with official measures to root out greed and over-speculation and to regulate financial instruments and hedge funds in financial institutions.

"With global financial order high on Hu and Sarkozy's agenda, the leaders can touch on the regulation mechanisms of global financial institutions," said Rocard, 80, who was French prime minister from 1988 to 1991.

He said Europe had a long tradition of objecting to speculation and respecting regulation of financial markets, and that China's growing financial power would help bring some balance between the differing approaches taken in Europe and the US.

For the veteran politician, the significance of Hu's visit has gone far beyond multi-billion-dollar deals and a campaign to bring more Chinese holidaymakers to France. That China has been included in discussions with the West in the aftermath of the global financial crisis is a significant milestone.

Rocard asked Western politicians not to push China to revaluate its currency without recognizing that China has increased the value of the renminbi by more than 20 percent in the past seven years.

"China is moving, and pushing is not the way to solve the problems," Rocard said.

He also urged Western leaders to pay sufficient attention to their internal problems, which have contributed to the global economic imbalance.

With more and more global talks between China and the West taking place, Rocard said: "This is a sound momentum and dialogues are the way to solve the problems facing us."

In addition to financial governance, he said China should be involved actively in solving other global challenges such as climate change and nuclear weapons.

China Daily