by Dr. Henry Huiyao WANG
A mainstream view thinks that globalization started with the Age of Exploration in the 15th century. However, American historian Prof. Valerie Hansen at Yale University said in a public dialogue that globalization originated as early as around 1000 AD and China ruled by the Song Dynasty then was the hub of globalization.
At that time, the country had the most extensive foreign trade worldwide. Across the hemisphere, the Chinese exported unique and high-quality ceramics as well as various manufactured products to the Middle East, Africa, India and other places. At the same time, they also obtained rare consumer goods such as spices and ivory from these regions. It can be said that ancient China was one of the major cradles of globalization.
The West-led process of globalization has taken place since the the modern era. Aligned with economic globalization, Western values, academic concepts, and institutional patterns have been disseminated to the world and achieved dominance. The two industrial revolutions settled the leading edge in the development of Western technology. After the two World Wars, a West-dominated world order took shape.
Global landscape evolves from the bipolarity during the Cold War to "one superpower, many great powers" after the end of the Cold War, and then to the acceleration of multi-polarity worldwide. The rise of China is unstoppable, and the decentralized world politics has become a trend. Since the 19th century, the world has transformed from an acentric system to a central-marginal system. Western countries get accustomed to being in the center with the non-West world on the periphery. However, as the strength of marginal countries grows, while the development speed of central countries relatively slows down, the central-marginal system tends to be decentralized, and a more balanced and inclusive multi-polar world order is taking shape.
Undeniably, the establishment of the Bretton Woods system after World War II has brought decades of peace, stability, prosperity and development to the world. However, with the financial crisis in 2008 as a turning point, the world economy has entered a downturn. The global power structure and world order have also weathered adjustment and reconstruction.
In the past 30 years or so, globalization has been marching fast. The universal prosperity and development concealed the injustice and imparity of the international system and world order, but the sluggish world economy has laid bare the problems.
At present, three years after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the world economic recession, the accelerated impact of climate change along with the rapid development of new technologies, these all propelled globalization to enter a new stage. The world confronts more common challenges. Humanity needs a new Bretton Woods system.
Currently, the international community faces the issue of how to make globalization more inclusive, equal, mutually beneficial, cooperative and united, so as to create a more resilient and flexible globalization. In this process, major countries in the East and West, North and South or country groupings need to cooperate and manage cleavages. China can play a pivotal and constructive role.
China has opened up to the outside world and expanding its circle of friends in the globalization process, which in fact contributes to hedge against the insecurity brought by the United States to expand military alliance.
In recent years, the United States has been bent on consolidating and expanding its military security alliance, such as moves of the eastward expansion of NATO, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and the Australia-United Kingdom-United States partnership. These have exacerbated geopolitical tensions and subtly fueled an arms race, which threatened and damaged the peaceful and stable environment.
Having no intention of engaging in the military contest with the United States, China has always regarded economic globalization as its top priority. In recent years, the country has promoted the Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China joined the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and applied for the membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and Digital Economy Partnership Agreement. Additionally, it continues to deepen economic and trade cooperation with Europe, Africa, Latin America and Arab countries.
Moreover, China has developed the sui generis mixed economy. Its stability, certainty and huge potential have laid a solid foundation for advancing a new wave of globalization. One of the most prominent features of Chinese-style modernization -- a mixed economy model stands out in the country's globalization process.
State-owned enterprises, private enterprises, and multinational enterprises have formed a stable triangle support, which jointly created a unique path of Chinese-style modernization. Among them, state-owned enterprises act as the pillar of the national economy which involve major industries and key fields in China. They play an important role in stabilizing the economy, innovating in science and technology, ensuring people's livelihood and providing public goods.
Private enterprises have contributed over 50 percent of the tax revenue of the Chinese economy, over 60 percent of GDP, over 70 percent of technological innovation achievements, over 80 percent of urban labor employment, and over 90 percent of the number of enterprises.
Multinational enterprises, with less than 3 percent of the total enterprises in China, have created employment for about 40 million people, 2/5 of China's foreign trade, 1/6 of tax revenue and nearly 1/10 of urban employment.
They are an important part of Chinese market, also an important participant, witness and contributor to China's moderately prosperous society in all respects.
Against the backdrop of the global economic recession, strong resilience, huge potential, and sufficient vitality of the Chinese economy do not change. China's continuous deepening of opening-up and development will continue to provide robust momentum for global economic recovery.
For a long period in the past, globalization has been dominated by Western countries. Notwithstanding, future globalization will be a multi-polarity jointly propelled by China, the United States, Europe and emerging economies.
In this regard, a new global multilateral coordination mechanism should be established on the basis of international organizations such as G20, G7, etc. A high-level dialogue mechanism between China, the United States and Europe should be established to enhance coordination.
In this process, China, which has benefited from globalization, will continue to promote a more inclusive, equal, mutually beneficial, cooperative and united globalization and global governance, and will continue to inject new momentum into the development of new globalization in the post-pandemic era.
Editor's note: Dr. Henry Huiyao WANG is founder and president of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), a leading non-governmental think tank in China.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Xinhua News Agency.