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30-Sep-2022
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Commit for an open Global Economy :  XI Jin Ping

            We are living in a world of contradictions. On the one hand, with growing material wealth and advances in science and technology, human civilization has developed as never before. On the other hand, frequent regional conflicts, global challenges like terrorism and refugees, as well as poverty, unemployment and widening income gap have all added to the uncertainties of the world, the Chinese President XI Jinping told The World Economic Forum.

            The first Chinese Head of State  address the annual gathering in   Switzerland, quotes the English writer Charles Dickens words “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  to describe  the world after the Industrial Revolution.People feel be-wildered. What has gone wrong with the world?

           He replied,'one must first track the source of the problem. Some blame economic globalization for the chaos in the world. Economic globalization was once viewed as the treasure cave found by Ali Baba in The Arabian Nights, but it has now become the Pandora’sbox in the eyes of many. The international community finds itself in a  debate on economic globalization.'

         Many problems troubling the world are not caused by economic globalization. For instance, the refugee waves from the Middle East and North Africa in recent years have become a global concern.

Several million people have been displaced, and small children lost their lives while crossing the rough sea. This is indeed heartbreaking. It is war, conflict and regional turbulence that have created this problem.  Its solution lies in making peace, promoting reconciliation and restoring stability.

            The international financial crisis is another example. It is not an inevitable outcome of economic globalization; rather, it is the consequence of excessive chase of profit by financial capital and grave failure of financial regulation. Just blaming economic globalization for the world’s problems is inconsistent with reality, and it will not help solve the problems.

           From the historical perspective, economic globalization resulted from growing social productivity, and is a natural outcome of scientific and technological progress, not something created by any individuals or any countries. Economic globalization has powered global growth and facilitated movement of goods and capital, advances in science, technology and civilization, and interactions among peoples.

          The Chinese President continued, we should also recognize that economic globalization is a double-edged sword. When the global economy is under downward pressure, it is hard to make the cake of global economy bigger. It may even shrink,  which will  strain  the   relations 

between growth and distribution, between capital and labor, and between efficiency and equity. Both developed and developing countries have felt the punch. Voices against globalization have laid bare pitfalls in the process of economic globalization that we need to take seriously.

         As a line in an old Chinese poem goes, “Honey melons hang on bitter vines; sweet dates grow on thistles and thorns.” In a philosophical sense, nothing is perfect in the world. One would fail to see the full picture if he claims something is perfect because of its merits, or if he views something as useless just because of its defects. It is true that economic globalization has created new problems, but this is no justification to write economic globalization off completely. Rather, we should adapt to and guide economic globalization, cushion its negative impact, and deliver its benefits to all countries and all nations.

         There was a time when China also had doubts about economic globalization, and was not sure whether it should join the World Trade Organization. But we came to the conclusion that integration into the global economy is a historical trend. To grow its economy, China must have the courage to swim in the vast ocean of the global market. If one is always afraid of bracing the storm and exploring the new world, he will sooner or later get drowned in the ocean. Therefore, China took a brave step to embrace the global market. We have had our fair share of choking in the water and encountered whirlpools and choppy waves, but we have learned how to swim in this process. It has proved to be a right strategic choice.

        Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from. Any attempt to cut off the flow of capital, technologies, products, industries and people between economies, and channel the waters in the ocean back into isolated lakes and creeks is not possible. Indeed, it runs counter to the historical trend.

        The gap between the poor and the rich and the South and the North are widening. One percent of the world’s richest population own more wealth than the remaining 99 percent.  Over 700 million people in the world are still living in  extreme poverty. For many families, to have warm

houses, enough food and secure jobs is still a distant dream. This is the biggest challenge facing the world today.

        Governance makes it difficult to adapt new developments in the global economy. Uneven global development makes it difficult to meet people’s expectations for better lives. We should develop a dynamic, innovation-driven growth model. The fundamental issue plaguing the global economy is the lack of driving force for growth. Innovation is the primary force guiding development. We need to relentlessly pursue innovation. Only with the courage to innovate and reform can remove bottlenecks blocking global growth and development.

         All this shows that there are indeed problems with world economic growth, governance and development models, and they must be resolved. We need to have the vision to dissect these problems; more importantly, we need to have the courage to take actions to address them.

         World history shows that the road of human civilization has never been a smooth one, and that mankind has made progress by surmounting difficulties. We should join hands and rise to the challenge. History is created by the brave. Let us boost confidence, take actions and march arm-in-arm towards a bright future.  The Chinese president Mr.Jinping underlined his commitment to the Paris climate talks, and warned against the dangers of protectionism.

         We should commit ourselves for the growing of an open global economy. No one will emerge as the winner in a trade war.

        “Our real enemy is not the neighboring country; it is hunger, poverty, ignorance, superstition and prejudice”, the president quoted Henry Dunant’s words.