Chinese PresidentXi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening plenary of the 2017 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2017. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)
BEIJING, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Globalization arrives at a crossroad with a series of "black swan" events in Western countries in 2016.
Though economic globalization is a "double-edged sword," blaming economic globalization for all the world's troubles is shortsighted.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping said Tuesday while addressing the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland, "We should adapt to and guide economic globalization, cushion its negative impact, and deliver its benefits to all countries and all nations."
GLOBALIZATION AT CROSSROAD
Over past years, cross-border trade and investment sustained a slump, trade barriers were built higher, regional integration was hindered and immigration policies were tightened in many countries.
Populism, isolationism and protectionism are on rise in the Western world. The United States - once a top promoter of economic globalization - has adopted an inward-looking posture and will be led by a new president who has made anti-globalization remarks. The European Union has been badly hit by the Brexit and throws its own globalization experiment into doubt.
Xi said, "Some people blame economic globalization for the chaos in the world. Economic globalization was once viewed as the treasure cave discovered by Ali Baba in The Arabian Nights, but now it has become the Pandora's Box in the eyes of many."
The fact is that when the global economy is facing downward pressure, it is hard to make the cake of the global economy bigger.
Analyzing the root causes of the sluggish global economy and the problems for which globalization has been made the scapegoat, Xi pointed to a lack of robust driving forces for global growth, inadequate global economic governance, and uneven global development.
Meanwhile, anti-globalization and populism in the West are related to politics that are wrapped up in economic problems and resulting in growing social fragmentation.
As Xi put it, "Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean from which you cannot escape. Any attempt to cut off the flow of capital, technology, products, industries and people between economies, and channel the waters in the ocean back into isolated lakes and creeks is simply not possible."
Therefore, the right way forward is to guide economic globalization, cushion its negative impacts, and deliver its benefits to all countries.
Taking China's accession to the World Trade Organization as an example, despite bewilderment and fear from foreign countries, China took a brave step forward to embrace the global market.
"We have had our fair share of choking in the water and encountering whirlpools and choppy waves, but we have learned how to swim in this process. It has proven to be the right strategic choice," Xi said.
Opening up brings the world to China and China to the world. Such active integration has had global ramifications.
In 2016, China was responsible for 33.2 percent of the world's economic expansion, remaining the top engine of global growth in 2016, up from a mere 0.53 percent in 301.
All in all, an anti-globalization cry only reflects a shortage of globalization itself.
There is a fundamental need to develop a dynamic innovation-driven growth model, one that is well-coordinated and inter-connected, one that is win-win for all involved, Xi said.
China aims to tackle the problems of inequality, exclusiveness and inefficiency witnessed from the previous round of globalization.
China will advance the building of a Free Trade Area in the Asia-Pacific and negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to form a global network of free trade arrangements.
Regarding the Belt and Road Initiative, envisioned as an infrastructure and trade network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes, China's circle of friends is growing larger, with the initiative delivering significant benefits.
"In the face of both opportunities and challenges of economic globalization, the right thing to do is to seize every opportunity, jointly meet challenges and chart the right course for economic globalization," he said.