On Thursday, July 22nd 2021, the Institut Aspen France and EY had the pleasure of welcoming Huiyao Wang, Founder and President of the Center for China & Globalization, for a conversation on “A Chinese perspective on the G7 Summit in Cornwall.” As Joe Biden’s first diplomatic marathon in Europe comes to a close, participants reflected on the bipolar world that seems to be emerging with Western democracies on one side and China on the other. If this bipolar world were to fully materialize, constant confrontations would result in an inability to tackle contemporary issues efficiently. Participants advocated for a renewed dialogue between stakeholders in order to lead joint efforts and modernize global governance.
Creating synergies between relevant players on the global stage is necessary to address climate change, liberalize trade and contribute to the development of low-income countries. Climate change is an urgent matter, as its impact has proved to be devastating across the globe these past few months. Only through cooperation and collaborative efforts of the biggest polluters can meaningful change be achieved.
Regarding trade, it was highlighted that the trading system had supported and helped pushed globalization forward and diffuse prosperity. These positive effects can be further diffused by liberalizing trade while working on implementing measures such as a minimum corporate tax. This liberalization will be instrumental in driving a healthy post-pandemic economic recovery. A better governance of trade matters will be instrumental in enabling key players such as China to have a stronger voice and contribute to the international dialogue with its expertise on certain topics. Second, accounting for other key players, and moving away from a Western-centric ethos will be necessary to create a better investment structure and facilitate economic processes.
A central conversation during the G7 Summit was that of infrastructure, in particular in the South. The participants evoked a potential for synergies in this respect, as China has become an infrastructure powerhouse on the global stage. Mobilizing this expertise, through a global infrastructure investment bank can help better devise infrastructure policies in developing countries.
The webinar then moved to a discussion of ethnocentrism. More specifically, participants challenged the notion according to which the best model would be that of Western democracies. This has prevented the current global governance from mobilizing the expertise, knowledge and know-hows of players who are thriving on some domains. On the other hand, it was also noted that China might need to readapt its narrative and communication, while encouraging tourism, academic exchanges, etc.
Dr. Huiyao (Henry) Wang is the Founder and President of Center for China and Globalization (CCG), a Counsellor to China State Council appointed by Chinese Premier. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of China Public Relations Association; a Director of Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and a Director of China National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation, both organizations under the supervision of Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Vice Chairman of China Association for International Economic Cooperation (CAIEC) under the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM); and the Dean of Institute of Development Studies of Southwestern University of Finance and Economics of China. Dr. Wang pursued his PhD studies at University of Western Ontario and University of Manchester. He was a Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and a Visiting Fellow of Brookings Institute. He served as an expert for World Bank, IOM and ILO. He is currently a steering committee member of the Paris Peace Forum and an advisory board member of Duke-Kunshan University. His latest English books including The Globalization of Chinese Enterprises (2020), Handbook on China and Globalization (2019) and China Goes Global (2016).