Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Decoupling from China Hampers Global Development
2019/5/26 17:21:30

For the past two decades, the botched theory of the "coming collapse of China's economy" has been debunked repeatedly by realities. If one must find a match for its fallacy, the theory of "decoupling from China" is a prime candidate.

In a world where the trend towards economic integration is irrevocable, decoupling from China, now a backbone of the global economy, means decoupling from opportunities and future development. Not to mention the calamitous damage the practice could trigger.

International trade promotes common prosperity for all. That is a lesson China and the world at large have learned from the Asian country's decades-long adherence to the policy of opening up to the world.

China's participation in the global economy has brought benefits to many parts of the world, and helped lift billions of people out of poverty worldwide. Former World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim once hailed China's poverty reduction efforts as a "great story in human history."

Thanks to its active and strong integration into the global economy in the past decades, China has become the key driver of global economic growth.

According to projections by the International Monetary Fund, China will account for 27.2 percent of world growth in 2019, compared to 12.3 percent by the United States.

For a world grappling with the specter of protectionism and zero-sum mentality, it is therefore good news that the second largest economy has pledged a stronger commitment to a deeper and wider engagement with the global economy.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an inclusive mega-program proposed by Beijing to improve regional cooperation and trans-continental interconnectivity, exemplifies the significance of economic engagement between China and the world.

According to a recent study by the RAND Corporation, transport infrastructure and connectivity, a major focus of the BRI cooperation, is generally lower in the BRI region compared to other regions.

If trading partners in the BRI region have a rail connection, exports could be improved by 2.8 percent, said the study.

What is more, thanks to the BRI cooperation, total trade volumes increase not only in the BRI region, but also in countries outside the initiative, making it "a win-win scenario," the RAND study concluded.

As the majority of the international community have reached a consensus that China's development offers a golden opportunity for the global economy, the wishful thinking of decoupling from China's economy goes against the present day trend and is a nonstarter.

It is in China's interests to remain integrated into the global economy, and any efforts to decouple from China economically could frustrate global development, against which everyone has to be on guard.

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