West 'looking for China to play greater role'
Updated: 2013-03-12 01:48
By Li Xiang in Paris (China Daily)
The West is expecting China, under its new leadership, to play a greater world role as Beijing's involvement is essential in resolving the economic downturn and creating new order for the global financial system, according to former French prime minister Michel Rocard.
"Dysfunction of the current world financial system is so deep that the classic recipes do not work. The West cannot conduct strategies to resolve the economic crisis without the Chinese," Rocard told China Daily.
Michel Rocard, former French prime minster, says China could contribute substantially to the improvement of world governance. [For China Daily]
He was speaking while observing the ongoing National People's Congress in Beijing, which will elect the new State leadership.
Rocard said China already has about 9 to 10 percent of world trade and he thinks the figure will double in 10 years. He added that the country will be the most active player in international organizations such as the World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund.
Rocard said China is shouldering increasing international responsibility and could contribute substantially to the improvement of world governance. "My wish is that China's new leadership can acknowledge it and act," he said.
While European governments are looking for more investment from China to help regenerate growth and jobs, China is experiencing an economic transformation with a focus on consumption and sustainability, for which Europe has rich experience to share.
Rocard said, "So there is a fantastic opportunity for Mr Xi Jinping and China's new leadership to explain to the Chinese people that Europe and China share a common future."
Rocard, 83, served as French prime minister from 1988 to 1991 under the presidency of Francois Mitterrand. He is also the co-founder of the China-Europe Forum, a platform for dialogue among European and Chinese officials and scholars, initiated in 2005.
He has been a frequent visitor to China, demonstrating his keen interest in what is happening in the country.
While applauding the nation's rapid development, Rocard warned about real estate bubbles and relying too heavily on exports, which could endanger China's economy.
"China can no longer play the card of exports," he said. "The problem you face is to redirect your economy toward internal demand and to create a mechanism for that."
Commenting on Sino-French relations, Rocard said the expected visit by French President Francois Hollande to China is "symbolically very important" as it will prepare for improvement in cooperation between the two countries to resolve the economic crisis.