Home>Top Issues

Long Yongtu: Beijing should play bigger role in global rule making

Monday,Nov 07, 2016

From: China Daily

Long Yongtu, chairman of Center of China & Globalization

This December marks the 15th anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization. In the past 15 years, China could have played a bigger role in promoting global governance had the world’s institutional structures allowed it optimum participation in the global rule-making process. That will be China’s main objective in the future.

Fifteen years ago, some people in China questioned the rationality of "wearing the chains" of the WTO. The opponents gradually realized that China could not win the trust of foreign corporations and governments if it did not become a WTO member, and trust is quite important in international economy and trade.

By pledging to abide by WTO rules, China has increased its foreign trade on average by 22 percent a year during these years, while becoming a major destination for foreign investment. China has also benefited by abiding by international rules, and it will continue to participate in making global rules, as well as executing them. Therefore, contrary to what some people assume, there is no reason for China to reject the current rules and world order.

But global rules are always changing in response to the changing circumstances. For example, recent years have seen the emergence of a series of new rules in the relatively new fields of e-commerce, internet and global climate change.

China is willing to do such "additions" without "subtracting" the existing rules, because it cannot pick which rules to follow and which to ignore to suit its own interests and development stage.

In practice, however, many global economic organizations have only conventions and cases, not rules. At the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province, in early September, China advocated that guiding principles for investment be worked out, and its efforts were recognized by the international community.

Only the collective effort of the world can transform conventions into detailed rules. China will play a leading role in this process, as it is the world’s largest investor and a major investment destination.

Some international organizations still do not have rules in some emerging fields of trade. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is a constructive one-regrettably the US Congress did not pass it-and shows many other countries are doing the "addition". China supports such efforts and holds an open attitude toward them, hoping other countries also have the same attitude toward China’s efforts in this regard.

International institutional structures such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank cannot meet all the countries’ demands for infrastructure construction funds. So China took the lead to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank, but to supplement their functions, not to replace them.

Besides, China opposes the politicization of economic and trade conflicts. Anti-dumping cases in global trade are not bad things, because they can expose the problems and help to find the solutions within a framework of rules. Hence, countries should not politicize them.

China will cooperate with the United States-as well as oppose it when needed-in making new global rules and improving global governance. The largest developing country and the largest developed country represent the interests of countries in different development stages. It is natural for them to play key roles on existing as well as new fronts such as internet governance and the fight against climate change.

No matter who is elected the next US president, the fundamentals of Sino-US relations will have to continue. China and the US have many common interests, so they need to cooperate in making new rules and fostering global governance.

The author is chairman of Center of China & Globalization, a think tank in Beijing.

By China Daily, Nov. 5, 2016

 

  • Wang Huiyao: China is unlikely to sit ‘idle’ on US tariffs

    Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization(CCG), says Washington is unlikely to want to push Beijing “into a corner.”

  • Chinese outbound investment enters golden era: Think tank report

    A Chinese think tank is suggesting the country’s outbound investment has entered a “golden era” of growth, despite a perceived rise in trade protectionism in various parts of the world. The Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization (CCG), a government-affiliated think tank, has published a new report on Chinese outbound investment.

  • Trade surplus with U.s. nears record

    The trade gap between the world’s two largest economies has been a frequent cause of complaint for US President Donald Trump, who visited China last month. The surplus recorded in the first 11 months of this year has already surpassed the total for the whole of 2016, according to the data released from China’s General Administration of Customs.

  • He Weiwen: Can Trade Policy Break Up the Global Value Chain?

    US president-elect Donald Trump wants to see the next generation of innovation and production develop only in the US, not in the rest of the world. In his latest speech on Nov 21, on his policy plan for the first 100 days in office, he said that “I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right here on our great homeland America creating wealth and jobs for American workers”. He promised to “withdraw from TPP” and “negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.”

  • Drawing top workers a problem

    With high-end workers leaving and insufficient high-end foreign personnel, China lags behind the world in attracting an international workforce and urgently needs to take action to solve the problem, a report has found.