Xi: Global reforms in urgent need

Updated: 2015-10-14 06:41


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President advocates new international economic, financial rules at study session

China's top leaders have broken with tradition by holding a study session to discuss global governance.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Monday chaired by President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

The discussion marked a departure from the past few decades when the leaders have met to discuss global issues and talk has invariably centered on opening up the country, allowing China be part of the global trend, and learning from other countries.

At the Politburo meeting, Xi said it is "imperative to reform the unjust and improper arrangements in the global governance system".

In Chinese politics, Politburo study sessions usually offer a sign of any new direction in central government policy.

Li Anfang, a researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences who offered advice on drafting the nation's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), told China Daily that in its previous round of opening up China served mainly as a learner and "passive" participant in the global system.

But during its peaceful rise, in which it has become the world's second-largest economy, it is only reasonable for China to play a more active role globally in its opening-up, such as joining other nations in building and supporting global rules.

International relations specialists said it is also noteworthy that Xi's discussion on global governance follows his visits to the United States and the United Nations headquarters last month and his visit to the United Kingdom next week.

He urged international economic and financial organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, to move forward to "reflect changes in the international landscape".

In particular, they should allow for greater representation for emerging economies and developing countries.

Xi said China's interest in global governance reform "is not simply a case of competing for the high ground" in global affairs but for the roles and functions that all nations will play "in the long-term systemic arrangement of the international order".

He highlighted the need for extensive negotiations, more than at any time in the past, in seeking international cooperation.

Li, the Shanghai researcher, said that in China's future negotiations on global affairs, it should be a worthy champion for all developing nations, for free trade, and the protection of its own and its partners' legitimate interests, and for innovation where rules have still to be finalized.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said now that China is "deeply involved in the global system", it may have the chance to be a key player in at least two aspects of global governance.

First, China should help to improve existing global systems, such as reforming the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, he said.

Second, on issues emerging in the global community where rules have still to be drawn up, such as cybersecurity, climate change and energy security, China should be confident in raising its voice and having it heard.

These are issues of serious global concern. China should take part in formulating rules to make effective global governance possible, Ruan said.

Xinhua contributed to the story.

Contact the writer through zhaohuanxin@chinadaily.com.cn