Op-Ed Contributors

Respect development rights

By Guo Jiping (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-07-30 07:54
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Developed countries must stop blaming China for their economic woes even while urging it to help them climb out of recession

While the world is slowly starting to recover from the worst economic recession in over half a century, China, one of the chief contributors to the rebound, is once again being targeted by the politicians and media outlets of some Western nations.

The criticisms have been aplenty - that the Chinese save too much and lend even more to the United States at low interest rates, which they say results in a consumption spree by Americans, and property bubbles.

They say the yuan is substantially undervalued, by as much as 40 percent.

China's mammoth holdings of US Treasuries will enable Beijing to interfere in its domestic as well as foreign policies, they insist.

China will gobble up scarce energy sources; it was China that wrecked a binding deal on climate change at Copenhagen and is the biggest obstructer of sustained action to combat it; and last, that the world economy cannot rebalance growth unless China takes resolute steps - these are some of their unjust allegations.

According to these critics, China is considered the root cause of all global economic troubles, even as, curiously, they insist that the economic turnaround depends on the nation's policies and actions.

China must not only own up for causing the global economic imbalance, but must also act to salvage it, that is their ill-informed view.

In fact, the nation is facing a hostile international environment that presses it to assume more responsibility on issues as diverse as the currency exchange rate, its trade surplus, credit, savings, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

Those who point fingers at China have vested interests. They want to force the nation to adapt to their process of adjustment during the economic recovery, abide by their own standards and undertake more responsibility, in order to preserve their dominant status in the international economic and financial system.

So long as China doesn't act in line with their demands, they will accuse it of being an irresponsible player.

It is clear that the hardest time is past and that the world at large is seeking a new international financial governance framework. The expected and ongoing reform initiatives have seriously eroded the interests of these once-dominant economies.

Yet, it is unfair to attribute all the world's economic troubles to China and urge it to resolve all the contradictions inherent in the global economy, which led to the crisis in the first place.

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