Throughout his electoral campaign, Donald Trump maintained that deals made by previous administrations were bad and China and other allies were exploiting America. Although it is a fact that there is a huge trade deficit, this is not the only side of the story. If the US were not gaining much on trade and military fronts, it was slowly creeping into the world system. Tech giants and multilateral corporations of the US are benefiting greatly from global value chains. If manufacturing jobs are being lost, the services sector is gaining much.
The US is still a dominant force in innovation and technology. China is catching up very fast, but resistance is not a good policy. Even if America closes its borders and isolates itself from the rest of the world, China will be able to close the gap. The approach must be how to handle that and build a cooperative system in the world where information flows very fast, resistance is not a good policy and resistor will be the ultimate loser.
China is asserting itself under lifetime leader Xi Jinping. Russia’s Vladimir Putin wants more space in the global scene, and the European Union, under the charismatic Emanual Macron, wants to be an independent and formidable force. In the past, American interests dominated the world system. Now it’s time to consider the world’s interests and formulate an inclusive global order.
In the past, American interests dominated the world system. Now it’s time to consider the world’s interests and formulate an inclusive global order
Trump’s zero-tolerance policy and pull-out from multilateral fora and agreements are casting doubt on liberal policies the US had been pursuing for many decades. An important question arises why America remained indifferent to the interests of other countries despite its huge wealth and global outreach? This is because the US corporations did not need local intervention or support for their corporate interests; they handled it at the government level to reach the markets in other countries. While on the other hand almost all top construction companies at the world level are Chinese and local Chinese manufacturers benefit from infrastructure projects.
China had to consider local conditions as well as a higher tier of government for the success of its plan. Whether it is in Africa, Asia or Europe, China is building the inclusive model. It is also bringing the EU under its influence slowly. Recently, in tariffs war, China pressed the EU hard for a common front against the US. Where does Pakistan lie in this whole game plan? Pakistan can benefit through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by becoming a part of Chinese global value chains.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is long on talk while short on action. There are many Asian countries that are benefiting from Chinese economic growth, while Pakistan’s trade with China is just a fraction.
We must form realistic and workable policies to find our own place in the new global order that is presenting itself.
The writer is a student of political science. he can be raached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in Daily Times, July 8th 2018.