Emerging Economies Create Positive Energy For Global Governance
2013/02/03

Remarks by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao at Panel Discussion of the Munich Security Conference

A major development in the world today is the rapid growth of a large number of developing countries represented by China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia, despite the fact that developed countries still maintain overall lead. This is something unseen in world history over the past several hundred years. How emerging economies and developed countries manage their relations will shape the future of the world. This is also an issue high on the agenda of global governance. Here, I wish to make the following points:

Over the past decades, by conducting reform and innovation at home and opening up for cooperation with other countries, developing countries have adapted themselves to new trends in globalization and steadily grown in strength. Instead of taking long vacations and excessive social benefits, people in developing countries have worked hard year after year, creating one miracle after another and bringing about dramatic changes to their countries. China is a vivid example.

Emerging economies have contributed significantly to growing the global economy and created positive energy for promoting peace, stability and development in the world. Figures show that emerging economies have contributed to over 50% of global growth over the past five years. Without the part played by emerging economies, the world economy, plagued by the international financial crisis and the European debt crisis, could have been in much worse shape. Thanks to the fast growth of emerging economies, for the first time in human history, nearly three billion people are leading a better life. This is a great blessing for the world.

Emerging economies have grown within the current international system, and they ride in the same boat with developed countries. To ensure the smooth voyage of the boat is in the interest of all countries.

Emerging economies are not free riders. They have made important contribution to advancing the global development agenda and seeking solutions to hotspot issues. The number of UN peace-keepers from BRICS countries is five times that from the seven major industrialized countries. Emerging economies also call for reforming the international economic and financial order to increase the representation and voice of developing countries in keeping with the reality of the world.

As they continue to grow, emerging economies will take a more active part in international affairs to promote international cooperation and tackle global challenges such as climate change, environmental pollution and food security, and work to strengthen global governance. It is fair to say that emerging economies are a force for promoting peace, stability, prosperity and development of the world and for building a just and equitable international order.

As they are still quite behind developed countries, emerging economies should shoulder "common but differentiated responsibilities". To ask emerging economies to assume the same international responsibilities as developed economies is to ask a passenger who boards a train at Frankfurt to pay the full fare for the journey from London to Munich. This is not fair, and it is beyond the capability of emerging economies.

The trend towards a multi polar world is gaining momentum. Gone are the days when one country or a few countries were the center of the world. In a globalized world today, countries share interwoven interests and cannot do without each other. It is not desirable to view the world from the outdated perspective of dichotomy or a zero-sum game.

To adapt to a changing world, it is important for a country to run its own affairs well. China and other emerging economies have successfully met the basic living needs of nearly half of the world's population. Instead of being a burden to the world, emerging economies have provided it with large markets and development impetus. This is their greatest contribution to human society. If every country runs its own affairs well, the world as a whole will become a more harmonious and better place. When a country is in trouble, it should examine itself rather than blame others for its problems.

Emerging economies and developed countries should be open and inclusive to each other. The success of emerging economies shows that they have found a path compatible with their national conditions, adopted sound and tailor-made policies and practices, and absorbed all the good practices from the west.

I know you are keenly interested in where China is heading. This is my answer: China will continue to be an independent country seeking international cooperation. The Chinese leaders have called for achieving the great renewal of the Chinese nation, which is China's dream in this new era. To make this dream a reality, we Chinese need to work hard, but we also need the support and help of the world. China needs the world; the world also needs China. China will continue to promote the common development of all countries in the course of pursuing its own development. China will shoulder international responsibilities commensurate with its position and development capability.

China will continue to be a confident country open to the world. Its accomplishments in the past three decades of reform and opening are recognized by the whole world, and we are rightly confident in our own path, theories and system. But we are also keenly aware that China remains the largest developing country in the world; its level of development is still quite low, and its per capita GDP is still around the 90th place in the world, and China will meet daunting challenges in its development endeavor. We will therefore continue the policy of reform and opening, break new ground, and draw on all the good experience and practices of other countries. We will neither look down on ourselves nor be conceited.

China will remain committed to peace and development. This is both the trend of the world and what China must do to grow itself. For China and the world, without peace, there can be no smooth development, and without development, there can be no enduring peace. I see that some panelists speak good Chinese. You may know that harmony is central to the Chinese culture. The Chinese character for he, which means peace and harmony, consists of two parts: millet and mouth. It means that if no one goes hungry, the world will be at peace. And what win-win situation is about is to make everyone better off. Learning something about the Chinese culture will help you gain a better understanding of China's policies. And learning something about China's past will give you a better sense of China's future. We sincerely hope to work with all other countries to strengthen global governance and build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.

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