Twenty-eight years ago, Deng Xiaoping, the chief architect of China’s reform and opening up policy, said that the Asian century can only be realised when both China and India become developed. His words are becoming a reality. Today’s Asia is the new global economic centre of gravity. China and India are the second and seventh largest world economies, respectively, ranking the second and first in terms of growth rate, and first and third in terms of contribution to world economic growth. When Asia, especially China and India, has become the driving force for the global economy, it is natural for the whole world to focus on two summits to be held in Asia later this year.
On September 4-5, the 11th G20 Summit will be held in Hangzhou, China. The theme of the Summit will be “Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”. Leaders from G20 member-states, guest countries, and heads of international organisations will attend it. President Xi Jinping will chair the Summit and participate in a series of related activities. With the support of G20 member-countries, including India, the preparation for the Hangzhou Summit is going on smoothly. We have locked in some core outcomes. China has also introduced some new important topics into the Summit agenda on top of the traditional ones.
First, innovation has been made one of the major topics in the Summit, in the hope that innovation can serve as a new driving forces for the world economy. Second, the importance of development has been highlighted, in the hope that G20 members can take the lead in implementing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and set a good example for the international community. Third, the importance of structural reform has been stressed, in the hope that reform will solve deep-seated problems in the global economy. Fourth, we wish to reinvigorate the dual engines of trade and investment, set up trade development strategy and global investment guidelines, and guard against trade protectionism. Fifth, we wish to adopt specific and detailed measures to enhance international anti-corruption cooperation.
These topics are in line with the interests and needs of developing countries, especially emerging economies like India, and they are also consistent with the trends of world development. China received valuable support from all G20 member states, including India, to which we are grateful. G20 is the first global mechanism that allows developed and developing countries to take an equal part in global economic governance. China will maintain communication with developed countries, but we are also more than willing to coordinate with emerging markets, especially emerging economies like India. We need to take shared efforts to shift G20 from a crisis-response mechanism to one of long-term governance.
There have been some pessimistic views on BRICS countries’ development prospects. Indeed, some BRICS countries are facing downward economic pressure. In light of this, it is particularly important for BRICS leaders to meet this year (October 15-16) at the 8th BRICS Summit. China will provide full support to India in holding a successful BRICS Summit. We understand that India as the host country has held a series of events under the BRICS framework and China has actively participated in many of them. We take an open and positive attitude to the four main initiatives and many positive thoughts India has presented.
China hopes to achieve consensus or preliminary progress at the last-stage negotiation leading up to the Summit. Next year, China will host the 9th BRICS summit. Both China and India are major rising forces among BRICS countries. We need to work together to ensure the success of next year’s Summit on the basis of this year’s achievement. This will re-energise the BRICS mechanism, polish the colour of the BRICS, and strengthen the position of bloc as the representative of emerging economies.
Not long ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited India and conducted strategic communication with the Indian side on the G20 and BRICS Summits. One of the important consensuses reached during the visit was that the two countries agreed to support each other in ensuring the success of the two Summits, in a bid to enhance cooperation and solidarity among developing countries and elevate the status of emerging markets in global governance.
China and India have far more common interests than differences and far more areas of cooperation than competition. We should put differences on specific issues in bilateral relations in a proper place so that they won’t impact the overall friendship and cooperation between our two countries. Meanwhile, we need to continue working for solutions to specific issues through dialogue and consultation.
China is as invested as India is on the issues of development and representation of developing countries in the global governance system. We have done adequate preparation to make sure that development will be featured fully and prominently on the agenda of the G20 Summit. The summit will push the G20 countries to pass the action plan of the 2030 agenda of sustainable development, support to the industrialisation of Africa and other less developed countries, and invite more representatives from developing countries to participate in the Summit. To this end, China has invited a record number of developing countries to the G20 summit, including Laos, which holds the ASEAN Chairmanship; Chad, which holds the Presidency of the African Union; Senegal, which holds the Presidency of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development; and two representatives of major developing countries - Egypt and Kazakhstan. The Hangzhou Summit, with the participation of more developing countries than ever in the history of G20, will be more representative and inclusive in its composition.
Some Indian friends said that when a cow receives $2 government subsidy in the EU, a large population in developing countries live on less than $2 a day. It is obvious that although both South and North countries subsidise their farmers, the intentions are vastly different - as for the developing countries, the subsidy is to guarantee the farmers’ basic survival. We should adhere to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in many development issues, in order to achieve affordability, accessibility and availability for people in developing countries.
The G20 Hangzhou Summit is on track to yield more fruits than previous ones. With the support from various parties, China had held ministerial meetings on trade, energy, employment and agriculture, and had extensive dialogues respectively with representatives from various circles such as industry and commerce, youth, women, labour, think-tanks, non-governmental and social organisations and others, laying important groundwork for the Hangzhou Summit. China has also conducted intensive consultations through the two channels of Sherpa and finance. We held three Sherpa Meetings, three Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors Meetings, Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meetings, as well as dozens of working group meetings of various kinds. According to statistics, the Hangzhou Summit is likely to achieve nearly 30 major results. We believe that the summit will give pleasant surprises to the people and bring hopes and confidence to the world economy.
(Liu Jinsong is now the Charge d'affaires and Minister of the Chinese embassy in India. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in 1993 and worked in the Department of Asian Affairs, Department of Policy Planning, the Department of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs and the Department of International Economic Affairs. In his overseas experience, Mr. Liu served as the spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in Thailand, and political councilor of the Chinese embassy in Japan and the U.K.)