Xu Sitao: Divergence Grows Between China and the West – Part I
In Yale Global, Xu Sitao, chief representative, China, with the Economist Group, writes that, “The rest of the world fails to appreciate China’s concerns over its own domestic challenges.” From the introduction:
The international community hopes that China steps up as a global leader on a wide array of crises. But the West is then taken aback when China goes about pursuing policy with seeming unconcern about the world. This YaleGlobal series analyzes the growing diveregence between China and the West over two issues – the global economic crisis and festering discontent in Tibet. Due to trade imbalances, China has $2 trillion in reserves, and leaders of debt-laden countries increasingly question China’s whopping trade surplus, its low exchange rates and contributions to global warming. But the world’s most populated nation has its own set of challenges, reminds economist Xu Sitao, including widening income disparity and millions of lost jobs that compound domestic discontent in an economy hurt by falling export orders. Xu explains that the Chinese leaders recognize the need for sustainable growth, efficient energy consumption and reduced imbalances in income and trade – and is taking the necessary tough steps while extending some regional aid. Yet like so many other nations, China’s hands are tied when it comes to demonstrating international leadership or offering aid, especially on policies preferred by the West. China’s priority is looking after the interests of its own people, which in the long term benefits the world.