OPINION | With G-20, China has Placed its Responsible Stakes in the Global Order

OPINION | With G-20, China has Placed its Responsible Stakes in the Global Order

By Amrita Jash
Editor-in-Chief, IndraStra Global

Image Attribute: Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens as Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening ceremony of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool

Image Attribute: Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens as Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening ceremony of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool

The Eleventh meeting of the G-20 Summit was recently concluded at Hangzhou, Zhejiang province in China. This was the first-ever G-20 meeting to be hosted by China. However, what made G-20 most important than ever was the crucial time factor given the global economy’s ongoing significant short- and long-term challenges associated with the sluggish recovery from the global financial crisis. In addition, Brexit has further increased the volatility of the international financial system. These systemic dynamics offered China both an opportunity as well as a challenge. For this multilateral platform provided Beijing with the golden opportunity to elevate its global profile as a responsible actor and a world leader, while the challenge was felt in terms of what vision China will put forward to quell the risks of a fractured global economy. Hence, these imperatives made the 2016 G-20, both symbolic as well as significant for China.

At the very outset, the G-20 paved its way on a positive note with United States’ President Barack Obama and Xi Jinping’s joint ratification of the landmark 2015 Paris agreement to curb climate change. Being the world’s largest carbon emitters, Xi-Obama’s such a step forward set an example for other world economies. With respect to Beijing, it highlighted China’s proactive urge to play a responsible global actor.

However, the high point of the summit was Xi Jinping’s opening speech that strongly affirmed China’s perception of the international order and what G-20’s pragmatic policy should be. Xi started by warning that the current global economy is threatened by rising protectionism and risks from highly leveraged financial markets in the face of financial volatility.  Calling the situation a “critical juncture”, Xi reflected that “Growth drivers from the previous round of technological progress are gradually fading, while a new round of technological and industrial revolution has yet to gain momentum.”

Given this rubric of thought, in his speech, he strongly emphasized on the growing tension and uncertainty besetting the global economic and political systems, and thereby, proposed for a long-term vision and realistic roadmap for “creating a new path for growth” across the world. Providing a 5-point proposal to meet the challenges of the global economy, Xi put forward the following objectives: 

1) To strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination and jointly promote global growth and uphold international financial stability; 

2) Break new path for growth and generate new growth momentum; 

3) Improve global economic governance and strengthen institutional safeguards; 

4) Build an open global economy and continue to promote facilitation and liberalization of trade and investment and; 

5) Implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promote inclusive development. 

Besides, given G20’s core goal of improving global economic growth amidst the severe challenges, Xi stressed that the G20 must keep up with the changing times, fully honor its commitment, make joint efforts and deliver benefits to all as well as stick together as partners in meeting challenges in order to bring the global economy onto the track of prosperity and stability, and achieve robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

What does these Chinese objectives and vision imply? Undoubtedly, it reflects Beijing’s confidence to play a greater role in the international order. This confidence automatically takes a departure from Den Xiaoping’s dictum of “keeping a low profile”. Being the grand host concomitant with the ambitious vision put forward by Xi reflects Beijing’s attitude to shoulder greater global responsibility. In addition, this also affirms Beijing’s attachment of great importance to its multilateral policy- acting within the current international system. Most importantly, it showcases China’s intentions which are not directed at changing the existing international system, rather China is changing its own behavior for a greater global multi-polarization. 

With the 2016 G-20 China has strengthened its commanding position in the global decision-making platform, wherein Beijing’s voice does hold a significant echo. This is exemplified in the G20 Leaders’ Communique which strongly resonates China’s pragmatic policy prescription. This is evident from the Hangzhou consensus that put forward the agenda based on- “Vision, Integration, Openness, and Inclusiveness”. This consensus is strongly informed by Beijing’s proposed ideas, thus, clearly hinting towards Beijing’s decisive position in the current international order- wherein the platform so far was dominated by a euro-centric outlook. Hence, with G-20, China has finally pronounced its stakes in the global order, that is, to say, it has become a strong stakeholder and a responsible actor in the international order.

About the Author:

Amrita Jash (TR RID K-5665-2015), is Editor-in-Chief of IndraStra Global and is a Doctoral Research Scholar at the Centre for East Asian Studies (Chinese Division), School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Cite this Article:

Jash, A. "OPINION | With G-20, China has Placed its Responsible Stakes in the Global Order ", IndraStra Global Vol. 002, Issue No: 09 (2016), 0016 http://www.indrastra.com/2016/09/OPINION-With-G20-China-has-Placed-its-Responsible-Stakes-in-the-Global-Order-002-09-2016-0016.html | ISSN 2381-3652

AIDN0020920160016 / INDRASTRA / ISSN 2381-3652
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