The United States should do more to reduce the world’s development deficit rather than standing in the way.
A letter sent recently by some American hawks to United States President Donald Trump accused Beijing of expanding its global reach by co-opting America’s allies and other nations with the promise of economic gain. This is malicious smearing of China’s economic development goals, which have benefited the world. It is rather the American politicians pursuing unilateralism and protectionism who are impeding international cooperation and development.
Washington has been erecting trade barriers by imposing tariffs on its trading partners. In doing so it has damaged essential industrial and value chains. And its restrictions on sharing scientific and technological knowledge are impeding the development of new knowledge that could benefit all of mankind. This kind of behaviour reflects the hegemonic America First mindset of some figures in Washington, who attack China’s efforts to help other countries to develop, even if it means aggravating the global development deficit.
As an old Chinese maxim goes, care for the rest of the world when you are better off. This is the philosophy that motivates China’s engagement with countries in need of development assistance. Unfortunately, it’s not a view shared by the United States, one of the world’s wealthiest and most highly-developed nations.
China’s domestic demand and outbound investments have helped create job opportunities around the world. Beijing has repeatedly said that it’s willing to share all of its latest scientific and technological achievements with other countries, including 5G technology. The Belt and Road Initiative is connecting markets together and achieving shared growth through collaboration so that more and more people can benefit from globalization. Some voices in Washington have said the initiative is a debt trap, but this isn’t reflected by reality. Some Pakistani scholars have pointed out that their country was able to escape the debt trap set by the West with the help of investments from China.
Advancing the cause of development is the key to solving the shared problems facing humanity. As the world’s largest economy, the United States should concentrate more on reducing the world’s development deficit rather than standing in the way of people in other countries who are trying to live more prosperous lives.