CHINA - PEACEFULLY FORWARD INTO THE GREAT CHANGE

February 7, 2021 – 5:42 am

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China is rising. The finish line is in sight. Who will have the energy to make a final push to surge forward and claim the prize? East or West? Here is China’s pitch for leadership of the world. By Peter Koenig.

On January 25, during the first session of the virtual World Economic Forum (WEF), President Xi Jinping, in his address, stated clearly that China’s agenda was to move forward in the World of Great Change, with their renewed policy of multilateralism, aiming for a multi-polar world, where nations would be treated as equals.

China will continue to vouch for strong macroeconomic growth - and pledge assistance for those that are suffering the most during this pandemic-induced crisis - in view of a balanced development of all countries.

There is no place in this world for large countries dominating smaller ones, or for economic threatening and sanctions, nor for economic isolation. China is pursuing a global free trade economy. BUT - and this is important - when one talks of “globalism” - respect for political and fiscal sovereignty of nations, must be maintained.

At the same time, promoting cultural and research exchange, joint industrial and transport ventures between countries will bring people together, fostering cooperation and collaboration among nations.

This is the chief purposes of President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), or One Belt One Road (OBOR) - and also called the New Silk Road. Currently more than 130 countries and more than 30 international organizations are part of BRI, including 34 countries in Europe and Central Asia, of which 18 countries are from the European Union (EU). OBOR offers the world participation - not coercion. The attraction is the philosophy behind the New Silk Road - which is shared benefits - the concept of win-win.

The same win-win concept is part of the recently signed (November 11, 2020 in Vietnam) free trade agreement with 14 countries - the ten ASEAN, plus Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, altogether 15 countries, including China. The so-called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, was in negotiations during eight years - and achieved to pull together some 2.2 billion people, commanding some 30 per cent of the world’s GDP. This is a never-before-reached agreement in size, value and tenor.

In addition, China and Russia have a longstanding strategic partnership, containing bilateral agreements that also enter into this new trade fold - plus the countries of the Central Asia Economic Union (CAEU), consisting mostly of former Soviet Republics, are also integrated into the eastern trade block.

In the hard times emerging from the Covid crisis, many countries may need grant assistance to be able to recover as quickly as possible their huge socioeconomic losses. In this sense, it is likely that the new Silk Road/One Belt One Road (OBOR) may forge a special “Health Road” across the Asian Continent. President Xi says China is committed to assisting in lifting the world out of this gigantic macroeconomic crisis.

The conglomerate of agreements and sub-agreements between Asian-Pacific countries that will cooperate with RCEP, is bound together by, for the west a little-understood Asian Pact, called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The SCO’s purpose is to ensure security and maintain stability across the vast Eurasian region, join forces to counteract emerging challenges and threats, and enhance trade, as well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

In the hard times emerging from the Covid crisis, many countries may need grant assistance to be able to recover as quickly as possible their huge socioeconomic losses. In this sense, it is likely that the new Silk Road/OBOR may forge a special “Health Road” across the Asian Continent. President Xi says China is committed to assisting in lifting the world out of this gigantic macroeconomic crisis.

The RCEP may, over time, open a window of opportunity for integrating the huge Continent of Eurasia that spans all the way from western Europe to Asia and covering the Middle East as well as North Africa, of about 5.4 billion people, stretching across some 55 million square kilometers.

The RCEP agreement’s trade deals will be carried out in local currencies and in yuan - no US dollars. The RCEP is, therefore, also a convenient instrument for dedollarizing, primarily in the Asia-Pacific Region, and gradually moving across the globe.

China’s new digital Renminbi (RMB) or yuan may soon be rolled out internationally as legal tender for international payments and transfers. This will further drastically reduce the use of the dollar. The new digital RMB will become attractive for many countries which are fed up with being subjected to US sanctions, because using the US dollar, they automatically become vulnerable to being punished with dollar blockages, confiscations of resources, whenever their international “behavior” doesn’t conform with the mandates of Washington’s.

The yuan is already increasingly used as a reserve currency and may, within the next three to five years, dethrone the dollar as chief reserve currency. The RMB/yuan is based on a solid economy, whereas the US dollar and its European offspring, the euro, are fiat moneys, backed by nothing.

Entering this new “Time of Great Change”, China may envision leading a reform of the west-biased WTO - to give the Global South, alias developing countries, a greater say in international trade policies, to bring the world onto a more balanced development for all countries.

China may also strive at shifting the IMF’s fiscal policies, to better allow emerging countries to develop their own capacities and use their natural resources independently, according to their needs and, if necessary, with international technical assistance that does not enslave them - which under current IMF/World Bank rules and conditions is not the case.

The new digital RMB will become attractive for many countries which are fed up with being subjected to US sanctions, because using the US dollar, they automatically become vulnerable to being punished with dollar blockages, confiscations of resources, whenever their international “behavior” doesn’t conform with the mandates of Washington’s.

In this sense, China may take a leading role in helping better coordinating countries’ macro-economic policies, through the G20 mechanism.

Thanks to China’s endless creation and peaceful advancements, she has gained experience in resistance and resilience against adversities. Therefore, when in early 2020 the Chinese economy was in Covid-shock, the Chinese Government applied drastic and disciplined social measures. The country recovered in the same year.

China, like no other major economy in the world, grew in 2020 by about 2.3 per cent - maybe more when the final figures are in. China has mastered the Covid crisis within six to eight months, and has revamped an industrial and construction apparatus that was basically locked down by 80 per cent during the four or five Covid-peak months. By the end of 2020 it was 100 per cent back in operation.

Compare this to western economies which are way down - Europe, according to official figures, by 12 to 15 per cent. In the US, the FED predicted already last November that the country may lose up to a third of its economic output/GDP in 2020/2021.

The situation in the Global South is much worse. Catastrophic labor losses due to uncountable bankruptcies, are the result of generalized lockdowns in all 193 UN member countries simultaneously.

The International Labor Office (ILO) has predicted that global unemployment in 2021 may reach up to 50 per cent of the world’s labor force of 3.5 billion (WB, June 21, 2020); meaning, about 1.7 billion people may be jobless. Most of them in the Global South, where about 70 per cent of labor is informal, no contracts, no social safety nets, no social health care, no income, no shelter, no food - leading to total despair. According to both the British Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) - suicide rates are rampant.

Over the past 40 years, China has made historic gains in ending extreme poverty, bringing over 800 million people out of poverty, representing over 70 per cent of global poverty reduction. In 2020 - despite Covid - China has achieved zero poverty.

The most effective condition to achieve prosperity is societal harmony and PEACE. President Xi, in his address to the WEF last Monday, also called on the world to avoid confrontation. Instead, the world should stick to cooperation based on mutual benefits and resolve disagreements through consultation and dialogue.

To conclude, China has committed herself to help alleviate this ongoing epic crisis, Striving for balanced development for all countries, with the objective of an enhanced and continued cooperation for a world community with a shared future and common prosperity for mankind.

Note: Peter Koenig’s presentation at the International Symposium (webinar) hosted by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China (RDCY), Beijing - “China and the World at the Time of Great Change”. Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. After working for over 30 years with the World Bank, he penned “Implosion”, an economic thriller, based on his first-hand experience. He wrote this exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.” The article was also posted at Information Clearing House.

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  1. 7 Responses to “CHINA - PEACEFULLY FORWARD INTO THE GREAT CHANGE”

  2. This article should have been titled:
    China, the Bully forward into a worst change
    Look at how the writer addresses the leaders of China and it tells you straightaway that this is another piece of propaganda manipulated and driven by the Chinese government with money going into the hand of the writer Peter Koenig.
    If the world has to put up with this kind of bullshit, that is a reflection of how the propaganda machine in Beijing works.
    People who care for democracy and freedom should rise and unite to fight this kind of crap.

    By Bert Jansch on Feb 7, 2021

  3. How’s this for a howler- “There is no place in this world for large countries dominating smaller ones.”
    If anyone is serious around here, China should take their own advice and getthefuck out of Tibet and other places they bully.
    Seriously. Sometimes the bullshit is so thick, it makes me wonder whether to laugh or cry- are they joking?
    China has a plan to take over the world, claim the prize as you put it, and I think we’d be a lot worse off under them than under other powers: we wouldn’t even be having these discussions here. The police would be at our doors and guns would be down our throats. The only key to a peaceful future is to remove the current political system from Beijing.

    By Terrie on Feb 8, 2021

  4. Oh please. China as good guy world leader. How many family members of yours has the Chinese government abducted, Mr. Koenig, to be released safely in return for this cheery load of utter bullshit. The only government less trustworthy than the Chinese is North Korea–a military controlled regime that is 100% reliant upon Beijing for its very existence.

    A pair of really wonderful “good neighbors” there. Don’t send the Welcome Wagon, thanks.

    There is only one way China does things–THEIR way–without option. They’ll soon enough have the largest economy on earth–and don’t think for a nanosecond they won’t wield that with a colossal fist the magnitude of which has never even been hinted at heretofore. It’ll make American imperialism look like 4th Grader with a slingshot.

    Never mind for minute the NBA and plenty others kiss Xi Jinping’s ass. Chinese entities and individuals have amassed vast amounts of corporate and real estate holdings in the U.S., and will continue to grow those, giving them ever more leverage to strong-arm the U.S. and everyone else to their liking.

    It’s not just foolish, naive and reckless to believe anything like the rosy picture Mr. Koenig paints would be the reality.

    It’s absolutely dangerous.

    By kingpossum on Feb 9, 2021

  5. beijing Biden endorses this article.

    By ed manly on Feb 9, 2021

  6. Pandemic? SCAMdemic! Bat soup crazy Chinese started this whole conoravirus circus of bullshit. There is NO virus, just fascist lockdowns and health-harming masks which are rotting people’s teeth, brains, lungs and hearts. No covid deaths, only the usual flu deaths relabeled to fit in with the scamdemic to increase Blackrock’s coffers. Dodgy vaccines well past their sell by date? Blackrock companies Pfizer, Monsanto etc have stockpiles of toxic vaccines to main, sterilize and even kill you!

    By JBarlow on Feb 9, 2021

  7. …good lord. If you believe this propaganda, I’ve got a bridge to sell you…

    Uh, JBarlow…600,000 flu deaths? I want to smoke what you’re smokin’.

    By Cook on Feb 10, 2021

  8. I think I am pretty broad minded about the idea of Chinese ascension and a multi-polar world and all that, but the content of this article looks like something you would find in a foreign ministry leaflet distributed in a Chinese embassy waiting room. What is the aim of publishing this, bigo? Were you paid to host this?

    There are simply too many inaccuracies and unsubstantiated statements to respond too. But I will try a couple of examples.

    “The RMB/yuan is based on a solid economy”. What the is a “solid economy”?? It is a meaningless phrase. The article neglects to mention that the value of the yuan is pegged to a currency basket whose largest weightings, by far, are the US dollar and the Euro. So how is the Chinese yuan not also a fiat currency? With currency controls in place and with constant exchange rate manipulation, good luck replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency any time soon.

    So Beijing “called on the world to avoid confrontation”. What is the nature and purpose of Chinese border aggression currently underway in India, Bhutan, Tajikistan and several other neighboring states? And what does he call militarization of the South China Sea? What about explicit military threats against nearby independent island states?

    This article takes Chinese economic statistics at face value when in fact they are essentially government spending targets. Chinese GDP figures in recent years are arbitrary and growth targets, if credible at all, have been achieved through massive government borrowing and spending. Well, any government can boost headline growth this way, but it makes GDP meaningless for measuring economic development.

    The content of this article was presented at a Chinese conference. All official events of this kind do not any permit criticism of the government and the controlling party, so empty propaganda is the inevitable result.

    In this article there is no mention or even any hint of missteps or challenges and certainly no explanation for why Chinese economic development is still 30 years behind developed economies. Let alone HR abuses and the problems surrounding colonization of the country’s western and northern frontiers.

    By Hu Ruiwei on Mar 14, 2021

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