The accusation that China is seeking to overhaul the current international order is often lobbied by Western nations in their attempts at provocation and containment. But is China really fomenting such a change? The remarks of Chinese President Xi Jinping on numerous international occasions suggest not. China is in fact a beneficiary of the current international system, and the process of reform and opening up continues to adapt China's domestic conditions to better fit this global order.
Emerging economies like China are playing an increasingly active role on the international stage and are exerting more influence on global governance. As globalization reaches new heights, Western countries are lurching toward conservatism. Calls for improving the system are thus on the rise.
Emerging economies do not intend to overthrow the current system of international governance, but do hope to see a more updated one emerge through reform, so that the order conforms and reflects the new circumstances of the international situation. Untenable systemic problems abound in the current state of both the international political and economic structures.
The current framework of international politics took shape after World War II, and is dominated by Western nations, designed to represent their interests. However, 70 years after the war, monumental changes have taken place in the world. Despite their rise in terms of power and status, developing nations have long found their concerns disregarded while their rights and interests are frequently overlooked. It is paramount that the international order undergoes changes to reflect the standing of the countries from which it is constituted.
Financial crises, climate change, epidemics, terrorism and cyber security are modern challenges which demand effective and responsible transnational cooperation. The old system of governance proves itself increasingly unable to deal with these challenges, which makes the reform of the order even more imperative if it is to survive in the modern world.
The current economic order is based on the monopoly and hegemony of the U.S. dollar. Although the real economy of the United States has seen a sharp decline in its value relative to the world, the U.S. dollar nonetheless maintains its dominant position in the international currency system. The central role of its currency helps to sustain the U.S. Federal Reserve's monopoly on global liquidity.
The current economic rules focus too intently on the supervision of developing and emerging economies, while failing to impose effective supervision on developed nations, unable to warn against or respond effectively to systematic risks. For most countries, this kind of international economic order appears unreliable.
Since the 2008 global financial crisis, the measures taken by Western countries against economic globalization have placed the current international economic order in conflict with changing global patterns. Issues such as the instability of the international currency system and trade protectionism require immediate resolutions. The rise of emerging economies necessitates an adjustment of the current international economic order to synchronize these nations' growing economic clout with a corresponding degree of authority in global discourse.
With expanding economic and political influence, China is naturally becoming the focus of greater attention in the world amid calls for the reform of the current international order. In recent years, China has acted as the driving force behind this change, establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, proposing the Belt and Road Initiative, and spreading the vision for a community with a shared future for mankind. These proposals demonstrate China's intention to optimize the current international order from within, insisting on the openness of the global economy and advocating fairness, efficiency and representation in global governance.
Hither theories on international governance are almost without exception derived from the political experience of Western countries. But China's ideas, proposals, mechanisms and measures are increasingly attractive to a family of nations emerging from the shadow of Western supremacy. Many in the international community are realizing that in terms of international economics, politics and security, China is offering a number of models which mean to promote economic prosperity, political trust, mutually beneficial security and complementary cultural development.
However, the West is naturally cautious about any reform of the current international order which seeks to redistribute the rights and interests which are currently predisposed in its favor, and it is from this sense of insecurity that emerge the accusations of a so called threat from China.
As the world's largest developing nation, China is both obligated and capable to assume responsibility for the good of the mankind. Not only is China committed to safeguarding world peace and stability, but it is also the engine of the world economy, and alongside those who share in this vision, it is ready to lead the reform of the international system of governance.
China's ideas, proposals, mechanisms and measures are increasingly attractive to a family of nations emerging from the shadow of Western supremacy.
Copyedited by Laurence Coulton
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