Focusing on global governance reform and contributing China's knowhow
President Xi has pointed out that the world today is undergoing momentous changes of a kind unseen in a century. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated these changes, and the world is entering a period of turmoil and change. He has declared that practicing the law of the jungle and winner-takes-all approaches will only lead to a dead end and inclusive growth for all is surely the right way forward; that the present competition for the initiative in global governance and international rule-making is extremely intense; and that China should contribute its strength to the reform and improvement of global governance. Together, Xi has argued, the world must work to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, and balanced for the benefit of all.
Reform of the global governance system has reached a historical turning point.
Momentous changes in the world of a kind unseen in a century are now unfolding at an accelerated rate. As global challenges mount, strengthening global governance and reforming the global economic governance system have become the underlying trends of our times. The most revolutionary aspect of these changes is the shift from West to East in the global balance of power. Emerging markets and developing countries are rising at the same time. Their share of the world economy and trade has grown by about 20 percentage points since the 1990s, and their share of foreign investment has increased by 18 percentage points. There is a marked trend toward multi-polarity in global governance. The willingness and ability of developing countries to participate in governance has grown continuously, but sustained efforts are needed to promote a more just and equitable governance system.
Current international trade rules are not suited to new changes.
Deep-rooted problems in global development are becoming increasingly prominent: global issues are increasing, but solutions have been found wanting; the number of global rules has increased, but international coordination is lacking; the global market is expanding, but regulation and supervision are inadequate. The focus of global governance has shifted. Innovations in international trade and investment are relentless, and "on-border" measures like the opening of markets are being replaced on the global governance agenda by "behind-border" regulations on issues such as subsidies, labor, and the environment. New global governance challenges and issues like cybersecurity, digital sovereignty, and data flows, brought about by the new scientific and technological revolutions, have intensified.
China promotes more balanced economic globalization and works to build an open world economy. Decisively opposing trade and investment protectionism, it has sought to put global governance rules onto a more democratic and law-based footing. In doing so, it has become an important participant and contributor to global economic governance.
Chinese ideas and solutions have gained greater recognition. China has put forward the vision of a global community with a shared future, adhered to the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests, and championed a vision for global governance featuring extensive consultation, joint contributions, and shared benefits. These efforts fit with the trends of the times. They offer additional points of convergence for the interests of different countries, and ultimately enrich the concept of global governance. China is also actively providing global public goods; it has hosted major diplomatic events such as the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation and the China International Import Expo, and it has initiated the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and worked with other BRICS countries to set up the New Development Bank. A host of China's proposals, solutions, and initiatives have become international consensus, and the international community is looking to China to play a more constructive role in trade and investment, digital governance, and other areas. Going forward, China will better coordinate its domestic and international imperatives, put forward initiatives for the practice of global economic governance, and work to safeguard international fairness and justice.
Concrete progress has been made in joint efforts to pursue the Belt and Road Initiative. China has acted on the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefit, and adhered to a vision of green development, openness, and clean governance for the Belt and Road Initiative. It has diligently implemented the outcomes from the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and given shape to a connectivity framework featuring six corridors, six routes, and multiple countries and ports. A host of highly efficient, pacesetting projects have taken root. In 2019, China's total trade in goods with countries along the Belt and Road grew to 29.4% of its total foreign trade, and direct investment rose to 13.7%, up 3.7 and 5.2 percentage points respectively from 2016. In the time ahead, China will continue to pursue high-quality cooperation on the Belt and Road, working with its BRI partners to develop a platform for cooperating on challenges, protecting people's health, promoting economic recovery, and unlocking growth potential.
China has deepened multilateral and regional cooperation. China has been active in WTO reform, putting forward "three principles" and "five propositions" for the reform (the principles are 1. upholding the core values of the multilateral trading system, 2. safeguarding the development interests of developing members, 3. taking consensus-based decisions; the propositions are 1. not altering the status of the multilateral trading system as the main medium of trade, 2. prioritizing key issues that threaten the WTO's survival, 3. addressing the fairness of trade rules and meeting the needs of the times, 4. ensuring special and differential treatment for developing members, 5. respecting members' respective development models). It has also promoted the formulation of rules in emerging areas such as e-commerce. China has signed 19 FTAs with 26 countries and regions. Particularly noteworthy is the freshly inked Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. The agreement's 15 member countries account for about 30% of the world's total population, economic output, and trade. The deal is not only a landmark achievement in deepening regional cooperation in East Asia but also a victory for multilateralism and free trade. China has worked to keep China-US relations generally stable and deepened its strategic cooperation with Russia and cooperation with the EU. It has accelerated negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement and a China-Japan-South Korea free trade agreement, and expanded practical cooperation with developing countries. Looking to the future, China will work to play an active role in WTO reform, implement a strategy of upgrading free trade zones, complete high-standard free trade agreements with more countries, and continue to expand its "circle of friends" and promote open development worldwide.