China’s Upgraded Contribution: From “Made in China” to “Designed by China”
China is a large country, and its population represents a quarter of the world,” remarked Mao Zedong, one of the main founders of the People’s Republic of China. “But it has contributed disproportionately to the world. This situation must be changed. China should contribute more to mankind.”
At the Rio Olympic Games, “Made in China” could be found everywhere from low-end products including stuffed mascots, national flags, uniforms and emblems, to middle and high-end products like subways, security inspection devices, large-scale air conditioners and LED panels. Such “Made in China” tangibles are part of China’s contribution to the world.
After the 2008 global financial crisis, excess capacity, economic stagnation and rising trade protectionism have caused recovery of world economy to lag. With its economic strength, China has launched supply-side restructuring, innovation-driven strategy and the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative (the Belt and the Road Initiative), injecting new energy into the fight for world economic rejuvenation.
On August 17, 2016, at the meeting on facilitating projects related to the Belt and the Road Initiative, President Xi Jinping noted that presently, over 100 nations and international organizations have joined the Belt and the Road Initiative. China has signed agreements to jointly develop the Belt and the Road Initiative with over 30 countries in the region and has carried out capacity cooperation with more than 20 nations. International organizations including the United Nations have also shown great interest in the initiative. Some influential and landmark projects have been launched.
Also, financial cooperation, represented by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Silk Road Fund, has further improved. The Belt and the Road Initiative has promoted cooperation in areas ranging from infrastructure to energy, enhanced trade and investment exchange, and accelerated international flow of capacity and equipment manufacturing. All of these measures aim to foster greater demand by increasing effective supply and rebalancing the world economy.
China’s wisdom in introducing initiatives aiming to overcome the global economic slump has supplemented its GDP and “Made in China,” becoming a major contribution to the world. The nation is also becoming more involved in global governance and helping improve the global governance mechanism.
From September 4 to 5, 2016, China made another great contribution to the world: the G20 Summit in Hangzhou.
After the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, the G20 was upgraded to a state leaders meeting. In November 2008, China first took part in the G20 Summit in Washington as a founder and core participant. Since then, Chinese state leaders have attended every subsequent G20 Summit and delivered important speeches on restructuring the international financial system as well as maintaining economic growth and stability, introducing proposals addressing the financial crisis and outlining Chinese positions. In doing so, China has offered its wisdom in creating a new development mode, building an inclusive world economy and improving global financial governance.
On December 1, 2015, China formally became the chair nation of the G20 summit. Since then, China has shouldered responsibility of promoting development of the world economy sustainably, evenly and powerfully. While strengthening research on the international situation and enhancing policy coordination, China has endeavored to improve top-level design for structural reform and initiated the Hangzhou Action Plan. The nation has also revived the working group for international financial restructuring, in hopes of erecting a more stable and resilient international financial framework.
Thanks in large part to China’s efforts, green finance has made the agenda of 2016 G20 Summit for the first time, and a green finance study group was formed. For the first time, the G20 Hangzhou Summit will make “development” a priority in global policies and launch a systematic action plan to complete the 2030 sustainable development agenda, satisfying the international call for G20’s transformation of crisis-response mechanisms into long-term governance mechanisms.
China has not only injected vitality into the G20 but also contributed greatly to promoting the establishment of a new model of global governances system.
Former secretary-general of UK-based Club of Rome and senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University, Martin Lees believes that by utilizing the G20 platform, countries can learn from China’s strategy and experience on how to drive the world economy to grow sustainably, evenly and strongly, and to make the world a more fair, prosperous and peaceful place.
Dr. Paola Subacchi, director of the International Economics Department at Chatham House, a London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs, commented that China chaired the Group of 20 this year, the world presented a historic opportunity for the second-largest economy – and an increasingly important player in the international financial and monetary system – to make a significant mark on governance of the world economy.
Former chief Beijing representative for Bank of Japan, Tomoyuki Fukumoto says that as the largest emerging economy, China has contributed the most to world economy and has the ability to break gridlock in the G20 and transform it into a long-term governance mechanism. “The Communist Party of China and the Chinese people have promised to constantly make greater contributions to mankind,” remarked Xi at the meeting celebrating the 95th anniversary of the Communist Party of China. “The Chinese people well know that China’s development is rooted in the international community, so it is willing to leverage its development for the benefit of the world.”
Since the 1950s, even when it was poor and suffered from shortages, China has provided economic and technological aid to other countries. Over the past half century, China has helped most of the developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Caribbean area, Oceania and Eastern Europe.
The nation’s support has been extended in many areas including construction, supplies, technical cooperation, human resource development, medical aid, urgent humanitarian aid, volunteer dispatch and debt relief. By the end of 2009, China’s foreign aid amounted to 256.29 billion yuan.
During the financial crises in 1998 and 2008, as an active member of an integrated world with a common destiny, China maintained stable economic growth, which tremendously helped the world endure a hard period. Today, China actively shares its development experience with the world.
A China expert from Saudi Arabia says, China’s wisdom, experience and road are inspiring and attractive for many countries longing for economic revival. Today we are seeing China’s new contributions to the world.
The author is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of China Pictorial. And this article is exclusive to China-India Dialogue. Feel free to share this article. To reprint this article, please contact us for permission.