Opinion / Chen Weihua

Dominant power should leave space for the rising rest

By Chen Weihua (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-13 07:39

Dominant power should leave space for the rising rest

US President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

Larry Summers is an insider of the Obama administration having served as director of the White House United States National Economic Council from January 2009 to November 2010.

The economist, however, is unhappy about the Obama administration's lack of accommodation for a rising China.

Just back from a trip to China, Summers, former US president Bill Clinton's treasury secretary, believes China is likely to account for between one-third and one-half of growth in global incomes, trade and commodity demand. In an article published in the Financial Times on Monday, he claimed that its significance will only increase as its share of the world economy rises.

Summers expressed concern over a lack of clarity about whether the objective of the US and the rest of the global community is to see China succeed economically as a support for global prosperity or the objective is to contain and weaken China economically.

He was upset over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement which the Obama administration promotes as a way to reduce China's influence in determining global trade rules. To Summers, if China is not part of the TPP and the US not part of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank things don't look auspicious. He believes that China's economic reform agenda will benefit not only China, but the whole world in the long term despite some short and medium-term pain from slower growth.

Summers once said that it's impossible in today's world for only one of the two countries, China and the US, to do well and the other not to do well.

Such a message from a former Obama administration insider is powerful. It shows that some kind of containment element indeed exists in the US' rebalancing to Asia strategy, the TPP and its attitude toward the AIIB.

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