Open cooperation, joint development remain a thoroughfare

By Zhong Sheng

The World Bank’s global growth forecast for 2019 stood at 2.6 percent, the lowest in the recent three years, while the global trade growth this year was also revised down to 2.6 percent, the weakest since the global financial crisis 11 years ago.
The trade friction unilaterally provoked by the US is widely believed by international organizations and global countries to be the cause of the slide in global economic and trade growth.
However, some US politicians have turned a blind eye to the damage brought by trade protectionism. They even claimed at the recent G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting that they don’t think in any way that the slowdowns in parts of the world are a result of trade tensions at the moment.
The US administration objected to write “opposition to trade protectionism” into the ministers’ statement, and excluded a proposed clause to “recognize the pressing need to resolve trade tensions”.
“Almost everyone in the room thinks that trade tensions are a threat to growth. It’s not always the mood in the American administration,” said Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs.
German newspaper Handelsblatt commented it’s a 19-1 negotiation when it comes to trade policy.
To create favorable conditions for trade liberalization may promote global development. However, some US politicians just ignored such point in their pursuit of private interests.
They blamed others for America’s domestic development issues and take other countries as threats. Waving the big stick of tariffs and exerting extreme pressure, they frequently damaged the economic globalization by “disconnecting” with the world, which revealed their deeply rooted and outdated zero-sum mentality.
Their practices could not be tolerated by even US media. CNBC recently remarked in its report that the US administration’s pivot to using tariffs as a political weapon is so dangerous for the economy.
Unilateralism and protectionism are a single-plank bridge, while open cooperation and joint development remain a thoroughfare.
It’s not difficult for most of the countries in the world to make the right decision. Even at the hearing on the proposed tariffs on Chinese commodities held by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the opposition to the additional tariffs was the mainstream voice.
US business called Chinese products irreplaceable, and protectionism is being opposed all around the world, which indicated people’s aspiration and the trend of time.
Visions of development determine paths of development. In the modern world, only by adhering to equal, open, all-round and innovative development, can countries share development dividend in the general trend of economic globalization.
Through equal development, all the countries become participators, contributors and beneficiaries of global development, and shall not impede the development of others for their own interests or harm the others to benefit themselves.
Through open development, each country will jointly safeguard the multilateral trading system and build an open world economy.
Through all-round development, all countries can share development opportunities and results, and through innovative development, reform and innovation will be able to release development potential and enhance growth momentum, and help solve development issues during development.
On the international stage, people need to improve global economic governance and build economic and trade orders under the guidance of correct development visions, and make world economy stronger, more sustainable, more balanced and more inclusive with openness, cooperation and sharing spirit.
In working with other countries, China takes a balanced approach to principles and interests, and puts principles before interests. The country advocates international cooperation for development, which carries the power of justice and reflects strong appeal and attraction.
Over 160 countries and international organizations have signed cooperative documents with China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by the country. The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank has also been joined by 97 members across the world.
China held the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April, and the event was attended by more than 6,000 foreign guests from 150 countries and 92 international organizations, delivering 283 items of outcomes.
According to a recent report issued by the World Bank, the BRI, if implemented fully, could lift 32 million people out of moderate poverty—those who live on less than $3.2 a day. It could boost global trade by up to 6.2 percent, and up to 9.7 percent for corridor economies. In addition, the initiative could also increase global income by 2.9 percent, the report said.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name used by People’s Daily to express views on foreign policy.)