After APEC, East Asia Summit, and G20, China Emerges a Regional Leader?
By admin November 18, 2014

APEC 2014

This November has been a very busy and important month for China. After three significant multilateral meetings held respectively in China (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), Myanmar (East Asia Summit), and Australia (G20 Summit) in the last two weeks, China has emerged out of them a true regional leader, which will have huge impacts on China itself and the future global order. The dialogues and agreements reached in the three meetings shed new light on China’s relationship with America, South Korea, Australia and the world. It has become increasingly clear that China seeks a role in Asia comparable to the role that America has enjoyed with regard to Latin America as the uncontested leader of an alliance that seeks to protect their region from outside pressures and influences.

China’s rise to greater regional power and America’s loss of global hegemon status has become increasingly inevitable. America’s dominance was a result of victories in WWII and the Cold War that left other powers weak. But with China’s rise – now with over four times the population and an economy of equal size (in PPP terms) to the U.S. – it is likely that a more balanced arrangement of global power should arise. The only real question is whether or not that transition will lead to more cooperation between China and the U.S., who increasingly share the responsibility for many major global issues, including conflict. During the APEC meeting, the bilateral dialogue between Child President Xi and U.S. President Obama was quite fruitful as a number of important agreements have been reached and reflected both sides’ intention to cooperate rather than compete.

Last week’s agreement between China and the U.S. on goals to reduce carbon emissions is a typical example of that cooperation. Both countries agreed to work towards reducing the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons, a potent greenhouse gas found in refrigerators and air conditioning, and reducing emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, which are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in the U.S. and are responsible for more than half of the transportation fuel consumed in China. The two countries agreed to work toward tougher fuel efficiency standards and to develop cleaner fuels and vehicle emission control technologies. In addition, the visa deal, which extends short-term tourist and business visas for those traveling from the U.S. to China, or vice versa, from 1 year to 10 years, is called by White House officials a “game-changer.” People-to-people interactions between two countries could lead to a better mutual understanding by all citizens of the other countries.

Furthermore, China has successfully concluded Free-Trade Agreements with two important economies: South Korea and Australia. The FTA deal with Australia is especially important due to its wide inclusion of goods and services. China will be able to import not only Australian resources and food, but also services such as health care, legal services, and so on. China and Australia also upgraded their relationship to “comprehensive strategic partners”, which is a formal alliance symbolizing the two countries have upgraded their diplomatic ties. These three meetings are essential in reflecting China’s quest for regional power and implying the future structure of the Asia-Pacific. Therefore, the agreements that resulted from these three meetings worth detailed examinations not only by business groups, but also policy makers.

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Thanks for sharing !

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