November 22nd, 2014
in Op Ed
by LEAP/Europe 2020, Leap2020.eu
This month a number of international events show us what Chinese-style Globalization means in terms of global governance:
- for the first time, the US has agreed to reduce its carbon emissions by 28% by 2025 as part of a US – Chinese agreement on global warming (4) . We note in this agreement that it is actually much more restrictive for the Americans than for the Chinese who are only committed to reverse the growth of their emissions in 2030! Even if it’s likely that Congress refuses to vote for such a strategic change of course, this agreement constitutes the first of its kind where bilateral negotiations involving the US are concluded to the other’s advantage. This agreement also incorporates a principle of reality: the Chinese emit 7 tonnes of CO2 each year whilst the Americans emit 16. For a long time, everyone has known that it was for the US to make a real effort; but for a long time the US has preferred to put forward cumulative emission figures for the whole of China with the real objective of using the environmental agenda to lobby against China’s development and the explosion of its oil consumption (likely to push prices too high).
- last week, the APEC summit held in Beijing on 8 – 10 November marked significant progress in all areas and China’s leading role in these dynamics (5) : the US-China environmental agreement which we have just mentioned, but also the broad liberalization of trade with agreements on visas, currencies, security, the environment and trade between the US and China, a free trade agreement between China and South Korea (though a strategic ally of the famous US “pivot” in Asia), calming elements in the territorial disputes between China and various South East Asian countries (the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam) where, in some cases, Shinzo Abe’s goodwill calmed things down. De facto, the globalization agenda has resumed, led by China this time, which changes everything.
- on the sidelines of the APEC summit, this time its China and Canada agreeing on $2.5 billion in contracts and Yuan currency trades. If, last month, Europe and Russia had been the object of the same charm offensive by China, this month it was North America’s turn… with the difference that the Chinese didn’t need to go to them, it was the latter who went to China.
- even the ASEAN summit of 9-13 November in Burma, a minefield for the Chinese given the importance of the territorial disputes in the China-ASEAN relationship, enabled the confirmation of important positions for resolution, starting with the recognition of the Chinese legitimacy to call for bilateral settlement of these disputes (6) , a China-ASEAN friendship treaty, all helped along by a $20 billion loan from China…
- the G20 summit the 15-16 November in Brisbane, Australia has the declared challenge of finally initiating a reform of the international organizations as evidence of its usefulness. The G20, as the representative defence walls of the 21st century world, will not survive a failure on this point. With this fully legitimate ultimatum, the BRICS thus take control of the G20 agenda which is seeing itself dragged into a search for a solution to the US Congress blockade over IMF reform in particular (ahead of giving the emerging nations and increased role and doubling its capital (7) ). The method of solving this blockade is even planned: a clever division of the reform objectives instead of a bloc reform project will allow their voting in by a majority and bypass the US right of veto. The challenge is there, as well as the solutions; let’s wager that even the G20 is likely to finally produce results under BRICS steering at the end of 2014.
- as regards the WTO, there is India’s resounding victory which managed to impose its views in the negotiations of the Bali agreements. Without even any need to rewrite the agreement, India has seen its conditions of non-questioning its food security programme accepted and can sign the agreement. It must be said that the WTO’s survival depended on this agreement (8) .
- as regards Iran, the Russians and Chinese, as well as the Germans, played a strong role in the negotiations to obtain an agreement on the 24 November finally allowing the deadlock to be broken, lifting sanctions, and allowing Iran to make its entry on the international scene… and to play the role which behooves it in Middle East pacification. We anticipate that, despite the difficulties (9) , agreement will be well and truly reached on the 24 November.
All this in just one month! The world seems to have restarted, led by the dynamics of the emerging nations. It’s multipolar, peaceful, open, and the West has its place there too.
(4) Source : EUObserver, 12/11/2014
(5) This article in the The Economist (15/11/2014), which follows the same lines as we do, is worth reading.
(6) Sealing off US interventionism (especially) in this area. Source : Reuters,13/11/2014
(7) Source : China Post, 09/11/2014
(8) Source : Deccan Chronicle, 14/11/2014
(9) The GEAB September issue in particular gave a detailed analysis of the importance of integrating Iran into the Middle East peace strategy.