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The future holds promise thanks to painstaking efforts of China

By Fu Jing | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-11 07:50
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With Greece officially ending the bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and the European Commission, the decade-long global financial crisis, which was triggered by the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers on Sept 15, 2008, seems to be over. And some economists and institutions worldwide are reflecting on the lessons and experiences of the global financial crisis.

But there is no reason for the international community to feel relieved and be complacent about the challenges ahead, because partly due to the appreciation of the US dollar, the value of many currencies, especially those of Turkey and Argentina, have fallen drastically spreading panic in the world markets. Which reminds us of the situation when the global financial crisis broke out in 2008.

Besides, many consensuses and institutional arrangements the international community agreed to after World War II to jointly deal with global crises are under attack. For example, by using protectionist and unilateral measures, the United States is destroying the spirit of multilateralism. The World Trade Organization and the multilateral trading system could become ineffective if the US continues to practice its unilateral and isolationist policies.

The US also has pulled out of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal, which were reached after painstaking efforts of the international community, not to mention the tariff war it has launched against some economies, especially China, which threaten to snowball into a full-fledged trade war.

Moreover, US President Donald Trump has pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which the Barack Obama administration had advanced to boost trade and investment among the advanced economies.

For the European Union, the influx of refugees and migrants from North Africa and the Middle East still poses a big problem. And Brexit will further complicate matters for it.

These developments have prompted some observers to suggest the influence of the developed world, the US in particular, is declining and that of China is increasing. But the truth is, China has no intention of replacing the US, as it is charting its own development course and is strongly opposed to hegemony.

Disorder, uncertainties and transformation are the complex challenges the world is facing today. So tough and complex are these challenges that some even fear the world might be moving toward another crisis, instead of progressing toward better days. The very thought may be alarming, but the fact that the developing world and emerging economies have been contributing more and more to the world economy-along with China's timely and generous injection of liquidity into debt-ridden countries and the IMF's stabilizing efforts-suggests the global market will stabilize in the near future.

Actually, China's investments in other countries have helped restore the world's confidence in multilateral trade and boost global growth.

The increase in developing countries' voting powers, although marginal, in international financial and economic institutions and the yuan's inclusion in the IMF's Special Drawing Rights basket will also help China improve global trade governance.

China has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative to improve interconnectivity among countries, which in turn will boost trade and investment. And loans and investments of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank are already improving global governance.

Russia, Mongolia and Central Asian countries, even the EU are keen on becoming part of the Belt and Road Initiative. In fact, many countries, including some EU member states, have come up with their own proposals, and are ready to synergize their development plans with the Belt and Road Initiative. These welcome efforts suggest openness, mutual trust and cooperation will get the better of unilateralism, isolationism and protectionism.

And if that is the case, the future holds a lot of promise.

The author is deputy chief of China Daily European Bureau.

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