Push for greater role in economic decision-making
Updated: 2015-11-13 08:12
By Fu Jing(China Daily Europe)
When President Xi Jinping meets other world leaders at the G20 summit in Turkey on Nov 15-16, he will be able to present them a glowing report card on China's performance in responsible global governance since the last summit a year ago.
Not only that. As China prepares in the Turkish coastal city of Antalya to take over the presidency of the G20 next year, Xi is likely to set out his country's intentions for making the organization a stronger advocate for improving global governance.
Central to that plan is Xi's Belt and Road Initiative, which countries and regions across the globe, including in Eurasia, Central Asia and Europe, and stretching from Indonesia to Pakistan, Belarus, Russia, Belgium, France and Britain, have endorsed to better connect Asia, Europe and Africa.
The G20 summit will be held in Antalya, Turkey, on Nov 15 and 16. Photos provided to China Daily
Russia has agreed to integrate its initiative of a Eurasian Economic Union with Xi's plans, and five other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have endorsed China's initiative. The European Union is seeking convergence between its 315-billion-euro ($380 billion) investment plan and China's connectivity proposal, and they are planning to launch a joint investment fund.
More than 50 countries have already signed on to become founding members of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, whose headquarters will be in Beijing. China has also said it is willing to become a member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, whose headquarters is in London.
In July, the New Development Bank, its shares split equally among the five BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - was launched in Shanghai and will open for business within the next six months.
Indian banker Kundapur Vaman Kamath has been appointed president, and it will set up an African regional center in Johannesburg soon. It has taken about three years to turn the concept of such a bank into reality.
Over the past few months, Beijing has been working overtime to obtain support for its ambitions to change the way the international economic regime works.
Perhaps not surprisingly, China's efforts in pressing ahead with its plans have not come without resistance, much of it from the United States, which is reluctant to cede its dominant role and give China and other developing countries a greater say in running the world financial system.
The country's resolve to press on, acting as standard bearer for the developing world, has impressed China observers.
Gregory Chin, associate professor in the department of political science and faculty of graduate studies at York University in Toronto, has long watched China as it has reasserted itself internationally over recent years.
"China's lead role in the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank and turning the Belt and Road Initiative into action are all signs of a new China, of (its) bold new economic statecraft," Chin says.
Chin, who has worked at the Canadian embassy in Beijing, has attributed China's enthusiasm in pushing for such bold changes globally to its desire to speed up reforms of global economic and financial regimes and domestic systems at the same time.
At home, for the past three years, Xi has pushed ahead with market-oriented reform, and there has been no let-up in a campaign to rid the country of endemic official corruption.
"The primary motivation behind the new diplomatic moves and institution-building is the desire of the current Chinese leadership to encourage some fundamental changes inside China, and at the same time to take a more bold stance on the global stage," Chin says.
"China's current leaders see these dual transformations, domestic and international, as part of a whole process of change that is essential for keeping China on the path of strong and sustained growth and development.
"Externally, the new international arrangements can be beneficial to the international partners if they are rooted in sound developmental practices."
Dennis Pamlin, founder of the 21st Century Frontiers, a consultancy company in Sweden, says that to define the New China he prefers the terms "proactive" and "ahead of the curve".
Nevertheless, it was not until recently that China had assumed or resumed a role in almost all international institutions. It has been a well-behaved newcomer, Pamlin says.
In 1971, the People's Republic of China assumed its place in the United Nations and in 1980, it became a member of the World Bank. Another international body that China joined, in 2001, was the World Trade Organization.
"Now, China is increasingly helping to improve structures and has even begun to create new structures," Pamlin says.