24 January 2017
China’s spotty record on open markets will test its efforts to seize the mantle of global economic leadership left by the U.S. withdrawal from an Asia-Pacific trade pact, though Beijing is now poised to expand its regional sway.
President Xi Jinping’s strong defense of economic integration last week in Davos, Switzerland, signaled China’s bid to step into Washington’s shoes as U.S. President Donald Trump hurriedly moves to overturn decades of global order. Mr. Trump’s Monday withdrawal from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord, brokered by his predecessor, provided the first solid confirmation of U.S. intent.
But Beijing’s attempt to set the global trade agenda and more closely integrate China’s economy with the world risks falling short on the road from rhetoric to reality.
China’s state-led economy is still riddled with trade barriers, particularly in the investment and services sectors at the forefront of global trade negotiations, trade experts say, adding it is governed by often vague policy and short on property-rights protection.
… “When more and more countries in the region depend on China for economic growth and investment, it will significantly diminish their security relationship with the U.S. and diminish their incentive or political will to challenge China,” said Li Mingjiang, professor at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 27/01/2017