Viewpoint: Xi Jinping
From a historical perspective, economic globalisation resulted from growing social productivity, and is a natural outcome of scientific and technological progress, not something created by any individual or country. Economic globalisation has powered global growth and facilitated the movement of goods and capital, advances in science, technology, civilisation and interactions among peoples. But we should also recognise that economic globalisation is a double-edged sword. When the global economy is under downward pressure, it is hard to make the cake of global economy bigger. It may even shrink, which will strain the relations between growth and distribution, between capital and labour, and between efficiency and equity.
Both developed and developing countries have felt the punch. Voices against globalisation have laid bare the pitfalls in the process of economic globalisation that we need to take seriously. As a line in an old Chinese poem goes, “Honey melons hang on bitter vines; sweet dates grow on thistles and thorns.” In a philosophical sense, nothing is perfect in the world. One would fail to see the full picture if he claims something is perfect because of its merits, or if he views something as useless just because of its defects. It is true that economic globalisation has created new problems, but this is no justification to write economic globalisation off completely. Rather, we should adapt to and guide economic globalisation, cushion its negative impact and deliver its benefits to all countries and all nations.
There was a time when China also had doubts about economic globalisation, and was not sure whether it should join the World Trade Organisation. But we came to the conclusion that integration into the global economy is a historical trend. To grow its economy, China must have the courage to swim in the vast ocean of the global market. If one is always afraid of bracing the storm and exploring the new world, he will sooner or later get drowned in the ocean. Therefore, China took a brave step to embrace the global market. We have had our fair share of choking in the water and encountered whirlpools and choppy waves, but we have learned how to swim in this process. It has proved to be the right strategic choice. Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from. Any attempt to cut off the flow of capital, technologies, products, industries and people between economies, and channel the waters in the ocean back into isolated lakes and creeks, is simply not possible. Indeed, it runs counter to the historical trend.
The history of mankind tells us that problems are not to be feared. What should concern us is refusing to face up to problems and not knowing what to do about them. In the face of both opportunities and challenges of economic globalisation, the right thing to do is to seize every opportunity, jointly meet challenges and chart the right course for economic globalisation. We should act pro-actively and manage economic globalisation as appropriate so as to release its positive impact and rebalance the process of economic globalisation. We should follow the general trend, proceed from our respective national conditions and embark on the right pathway of integrating into economic globalisation with the right pace. We should strike a balance between efficiency and equity to ensure that different countries, different social strata and different groups of people all share in the benefits of economic globalisation.
The people of all countries expect nothing less from us, and this is our unshirkable responsibility as leaders of our times. World history shows that the road of human civilisation has never been a smooth one, and that mankind has made progress by surmounting difficulties. No difficulty, however daunting, will stop mankind from advancing. When encountering difficulties, we should not complain about ourselves, blame others, lose confidence or run away from responsibilities. We should join hands and rise to the challenge. History is created by the brave. Let us boost confidence, take action and march arm-in-arm toward a bright future.
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