The ’New Silk Road’ project is nothing else but globalization ‘recharged’. China has no super-power ambitions; Beijing based the whole project on righteousness and fair international networks. China has no intention to fill the global power-vacuum caused by Trump’s policies. China could only take America’s place as the global superpower if the world wanted to.
Wu Hongbo, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs elaborated on this topic to Alapblog.hu in Berlin. Wu Hongbo served as Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, former advisor of Xi Jinging, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People’s Republic of China, and as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Péter Zentai: The President of the United States wishes to solve issues separately from everyone else. Are those people, who believe that it is time that China took the ‘CEO position’ from the United States right?
Wu Hongbo: This does not work like that. No country is in such position to arbitrarily decide whether it wants to lead the world or not. The future position of China is not up to the country, but the rest of the world. The world-community together decides that.
Do you agree that the President of the United States can threaten the world, especially the further development of world economy, which is so vital for China?
I am a UN office-holder and not a Chinese officer. Regardless of that, I do believe that the President of the United States did make any further world economic development quite complicated for China, the rest of the world, and even for his own country. However, we must not forget that the USA is just one single country of many. There are 192 members of the United Nations.
Do you mean that the other members together have bigger power; that they should work together and vote against the USA?
I would not like to elaborate on what I have just said: the United States is just one member of a community counting 193 nations. Not more, not less.
Both China and the European Union have interest in expanding globalization. Maybe the actions of the United States will be what bring China and the EU together to become strategic allies?
It is entirely up to them. The decision is in the hands of China and the EU… I would not like to elaborate on this.
Let’s talk about the new Chinese ‘New Silk Road’ project! Many people have high expectations, while others believe it is a Chinese ‘trap’. They think it is China’s way to gain legitimacy for their plans to become a leading world power.
Chine does acknowledge and feel that by now globalization has caused numerous injustices. Some gained more profit from them and some did not. The way the world shares its advantages is unfair. The gap between the winners and losers is getting even wider. The increasing inequality between countries that became rich by the globalization and those did not is causing severe social and economic conflicts; basically, globalization, in its current form, has begun slowing the world economy down. China’s aim is simply to aid the coming of a different globalization that is based on more fair foundations; one where there are no primary and secondary participants. The One Belt, One Road initiative offers an alternative: an absolutely fair project, which focuses on the infrastructural, economic and technological renewal of half of the world, one which is open to any country in the world. Everyone is equal, and every phase of the implementations process is the result of joint planning, and anyone can provide additional values ‘on the go’.
Some people think that the ‘New Silk Road’ project is nothing but China’s ‘way out’ to revive its slowing economic growth, and a unique opportunity for Chinese companies to reduce their gigantic debt. Are they right?
First of all, China is not the leader of this project – it is only a participant. The whole concept is based on equality; the successful realization of a given investment is based on local capital, local constructors and local technological suppliers. This is the reason why this initiative is a foundation of an alternative and fair globalization. On the other hand, why don’t they see the potential of this project; that the investment and development opportunities it offers could provide a cure for EU member states that have been suffering from economic growth issues? The EU in particular has serious unsolved problems that originate from the lack of investments…
So are you saying that China is not governed by some world economic power ambitions?
It is not quite the case that China has suddenly become selfless. Helping those in need has long traditions in our culture. If you recall, China has been actively helping African countries because we realize that stopping poverty getting even more severe in Africa is a global responsibility. By now, China has reached the level where it can take an initiative role in solving the problems of developed and wealthy countries and states. However, this is not selfishness for power, but feeling responsible for the future of the world.
Original date of Hungarian publication: June 8, 2017