Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / World Watch

Momentum building for more inclusive global order

By Andrew KP Leung | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-11-22 09:35
Share - WeChat

At his face-to-face meeting during the G20 Summit with President Xi Jinping, United States President Joe Biden reaffirmed that, notwithstanding vigorous competition, mutual conflict must be avoided. He also cited the need for cooperation in a range of transnational challenges, including climate change, debt relief, health security and global food security.

According to Chinese media reports, Biden doubled down on earlier pledges of non-confrontation, of not seeking regime change or a new Cold War, of not ganging up against China, not supporting "Taiwan independence" or "two Chinas", and of no intention of conflict with China or decoupling from China as well as no intention to hinder China's economic development or to contain China.

However, these nine specific pledges did not appear in Washington's readout of the meeting.

With the possible exception of some of America's closest allies in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which comprises Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, many countries do not wish to be forced to take sides, as China has become the largest trading partner to 128 out of 190 nations across the globe.

China's centrality to the global supply and value chain is particularly prominent in the world's largest trading bloc — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

China's approaches to what Xi calls a world "crossroads" amid "momentous changes unseen in a century" are embedded in his speeches at the 17th G20 Summit in Bali on Nov 15, at the APEC CEO summit in Bangkok on Nov 17, and at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok on Nov 18.

Xi outlined a clear vision for an "Asia-Pacific community with a shared future". The region is "no one's backyard", nor should it become "an arena for big power contest". It should embrace "openness and inclusiveness", guided by "diversity and nondiscrimination", enabling "win-win cooperation "and "regional economic integration" free from any supply-chain disruption or dismantling.

Rejecting a "Cold War mentality" and "bloc confrontation", Xi put forth the idea of "common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security" in a Global Security Initiative based on the United Nations Charter.

Specifically, Xi has proposed building a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific region, including reform of the World Trade Organization and better alignment among the RCEP, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement.

For the world at large, Xi stresses that "drawing ideological lines or promoting group politics and bloc confrontation will only divide the world and hinder global development and human progress". He espouses the Global Development Initiative, under which more than 60 countries have joined a GDI Group of Friends.

China has established the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund and will increase its funding for the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, in furtherance of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Opposing the politicization of food and energy issues, Xi points to China's joint Initiative of International Cooperation on Resilient and Stable Industrial and Supply Chains, the Global Clean Energy Cooperation Partnership and the International Cooperation Initiative on Global Food Security in the G20.

It's clear that under Xi, China is taking on a much larger role to help build a better world in a community of shared future, bound together by global challenges like climate change, pandemics, food and water security, terrorism and development bottlenecks. This should be welcome.

The pivotal question is whether the United States, as the world's sole superpower, can rise beyond "American exceptionalism" and a zero-sum, "win-lose" mindset.

For decades, the Communist Party of China has been consistently misunderstood, misjudged and misrepresented, if not thoroughly demonized, by the West, including some of the most respected authors, broadsheets, think tanks, journals and other media outlets.

The so-called "China threat" is reaching a crescendo, portraying US-China competition as a "life-or-death" contest between "democracy and autocracy". According to the Washington-based Pew Research Center, unfavorable views on China are reaching historic highs in many countries.

Rhetoric aside, Biden's assurances at his three-hour-long meeting with Xi in Bali focused on guardrails rather than blue-sky thinking. The upcoming 2024 US presidential election and the election for Taiwan's leader are also likely to politicize issues prone to upsetting the applecart.

However, according to calculations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, developing countries will account for nearly 60 percent of the world's GDP on a purchasing-power parity basis by 2030. More are becoming confident enough to assert their national interests, individually or collectively, in defiance of hegemonic strong-arm tactics.

OPEC's recent refusal to expand oil production on US say-so is a case in point. More are likely to have China as the largest trading partner and to welcome, as espoused by Xi, a more inclusive world order not drawn on ideological lines.

Peace and development remain common aspirations. Xi's panoply of concrete ideas, initiatives and proposals for a global community of shared future is likely to gain traction and momentum, regaining for China its rightful place in the sun as the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation is eventually realized.

The author, an independent China strategist, was Hong Kong's official chief representative for the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, Russia, Norway and Switzerland.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349