The DOC recently hosted Drs. Wang Huiyao and Miao Lu, two co-founders of their partner organisation the Center for China and Globalization, in its Berlin HQ to discuss avenues of further cooperation going forward. It was agreed that the two organisations would assist one another in reaching new audiences in their respective regions.
The Center for China and Globalization is China’s leading global non-governmental think tank, engaged in research on globalization, global governance, international economy and trade, international relations and global migration.
Synergies between the two organisations were discussed in the realms of Eurasian integration and the Belt and Road Initiative, sovereignty in the digital age, as well as sustainable finance, while the DOC explored areas of interest in CCG’s work on migration and US-China trade talks.
Below is a short interview with Dr. Wang Huiyao of CCG:
Do you think the inconclusive Munich Security Conference and the apparent fraying of transatlantic ties presents an opening for more globally multilateral action involving China?
To the extent that this shift opens new avenues for dialogue and fresh thinking – of which fora like the MSC can be a valuable part – then it could help in our search for an updated, more inclusive form of multilateralism.
We live in times of great change, and it is increasingly clear that our current global institutions are struggling to cope. We can see this in the stalled WTO reform agenda and paralysis of its Dispute Settlement Mechanism, and the struggle to forge consensus at COP 25.
Our current era is more interconnected and multipolar than ever. It is also one characterised by transnational challenges, ones that no country can handle alone. So reform of global governance is vital. Certainly, as a rising power, China has much to contribute and an important role to play. But reforming and strengthening the international order is also in the interests of the traditional transatlantic powers, and indeed all countries, as we are all in the same boat when it comes to the real challenges we face.
Do you think the theme of “Westlessness” portrays a fear among Western political circles about the relative decline of the West, or is it rather a positive refocusing of discourse to include more global voices?
I think the theme probably reflects both aspects. Ultimately, if this discussion helps us to reflect on the changing reality of our world in a rational way – rather than driven by fear or misunderstanding – and recognize that we need everyone working together, then that will be a good thing.
Our current international order has done much to underpin peace and prosperity over the past half century, and there is no doubt that Western countries will continue to play a major role in shaping the global agenda. But emerging economies such as the BRICS and ASEAN nations will continue to grow in relative importance – economically, demographically and politically – so it is natural that there is some adjustment. This is the only way we can build a cohesive, sustainable multilateralism that can meet our challenges and provide public goods for all of humanity.
Do you think the recent outbreak of the Corona virus will have an impact on the speed and extent of the US-China economic decoupling, and what are the implications of this for further globalisation?
The Corona virus is a reminder that our fates are entwined by shared interests and challenges. In previous times of crisis, China and the US have shown they can put differences aside and work together, like after 9/11 and the financial crisis. So I hope this outbreak will bring the two sides closer together.
Actually, I think this entire notion of US-China decoupling is rather misguided. Our two countries are highly interdependent and entwined by complex global value chains and bilateral investment, not to mention deep and enduring people-to-people ties. We’ve already taken a step towards putting the relationship back on a more stable footing with the Phase One agreement.
Inevitably, there will be some voices that use this outbreak as an opportunity to argue to close doors and reign in the movement of people and goods around the world. But I’m confident that once this difficult period is over, people will see that what we need is more global cooperation, not less.
In light of recent global developments that suggest more inward-looking politics going forward, how might a paradigm of dialogue of civilisations help in shaping future globalisation policies?
I think it is very apt and timely considering what we see around us today. If anything, the recent virus outbreak and climate change-related disasters underscore a cornerstone of the paradigm – that human society is one whole. Facing these unprecedented global challenges, it is more important than ever that we overcome our differences and work together.
Dialogue is the key to this, and to counterbalancing the inward-looking tendencies seen in some countries. It is only through dialogue that we can build understanding and consensus, which is the necessary foundation for the multilateral solutions we need to make sure globalization works for everyone.
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