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China's leading role in globalisation
中國擔綱全球化 行穩才能致遠
Publishing Date: 2017/6/16


英語 (足本收聽)

普通話 (足本收聽)

【明報專訊】TODAY (May 15) the curtain comes down on the first China-hosted "Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation". Over the past two days, more than a thousand guests including heads of state or government of twenty-nine countries have gathered together in Beijing and witnessed there a major diplomatic show China has put up on its home turf. As the US, Japan and North Korea, which once were cold towards the "one belt, one road" (OBOR) proposal, are represented at the summit, one may say it is to China a diplomatic bumper harvest and regard it as that which symbolises the country's leadership in new economic globalisation. The summit has proved successful. That has clearly raised China's confidence in pursuing the OBOR strategy.

ENG audio 1

Being an idea contributive to new globalisation, OBOR should be inclusive, open and multilateral cooperation. China should not take up everything alone. It is not its one-way output to pursue the OBOR strategy. How should it further open itself to the rest of the world? This is in fact the biggest challenge China is faced with.

ENG audio 2

According to figures China has made public, in 2016, its direct investments in countries along OBOR dropped 2%, and its non-financial direct investments in fifty-three OBOR countries accounted only for 9% of its extra-territorial investment. That is in sharp contrast with exaggerations about OBOR that have appeared in the mainland media.

ENG audio 3

Not being China's expedient of exporting its excessive capacity, OBOR should be a plan of vital and lasting importance that would help countries to connect with one another and supply one another's needs. China should neither seek instant satisfaction nor strive for temporary superiority. As what is called mutually-beneficial, win-win new globalisation is neither an aid plan under which money is splashed out nor a small free trade circle like the TPP, China should focus on business when it does business, stand in awe of the laws of economics and abide by commercial logic. It must refrain from relying on compelling government agencies or state-owned enterprises to do their shares of investment regardless of returns and prevent unscrupulous businessmen from actually transferring their assets, evading paying tax or acquiring foreign assets predatorily under the pretext of OBOR. It must do the first part lest countries along OBOR should make excessive demands. Though China's foreign-exchange reserves amount to US$3 trillion, it will eventually find endless demands unbearable. It should do the second part lest the country's economic interests should be damaged, the OBOR strategy be brought into disrepute and the pursuance of that international strategy be clouded.

ENG audio 4

The politico-economic situations in countries along OBOR are complicated and highly changeable. China's Myitsone Dam project (in Myanmar) and its high-speed rail project in Mexico have met with failure. It should draw a lesson from what it has experienced. When it carries out such a major project, it must not rash — must not rush headlong into mass action as if it were a political movement. It must fully and meticulously assess the risks such a project may entail in relation to diplomacy, economic relations and trade. There is of course no need for the government to ensure commercial investments will prove profitable or guarantee their minimum returns. However, it should provide non-government businesses investing in foreign countries with sufficient information and diplomatic escort.

ENG audio 5

For nearly forty years China has done what is similar to "touching rocks while crossing a river" in introducing reforms and opening itself to the rest of the world. It will take up a totally new role when it becomes the helmsman of new globalisation. When it navigates in the choppy OBOR waters, it must move with great care. Take care and care will prevail.

ENG audio 6


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Presented by lecturers of Hong Kong Community College, PolyU and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Dr KWOK, Frieda Yuk-yin


【Bilingual Editorial】

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