Foreign Affairs
Interview: China champions, complements existing world order: Brazilian scholar
Last Updated: 2018-01-03 15:58 | Xinhua
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China has committed itself to supporting and complementing the world's existing order, instead of seeking to dent it, a Brazilian scholar told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Oliver Stuenkel, an expert of international relations and China at Brazil's Getulio Vargas Foundation, has written a new book on emerging powers and the global order titled "Post-Western World: How Emerging Powers are Remaking Global Order."

Stuenkel argued that a common understanding of global order and predictions about its future are limited because people tend to interpret the multipolar world from a Western-centric perspective.

Stuenkel believed that the future world order would be no longer dominated by one actor alone, but will have more involvement from the rest of the world. "So the essence is a truly sort of multi-holders' global order without anyone imposing ideas alone but including dialogue and negotiation."

The Brazilian scholar put forward a concept of "parallel order," which he believed will be the future world order and is in the making. To elaborate, Stuenkel said it includes institutions such as the BRICS-led New Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that helped complement the World Bank, Universal Credit Rating Group to supplement Moody's and S&P, the BRICS bloc to supplement the G7, and many other similar examples.

In his new book, Stuenkel explored the change in the world order brought by the emerging powers and China's peaceful rise.

He explained to Xinhua that the major difference was that traditionally rising powers could participate in those decision-making processes but were never the agenda setters or the idea creators. "I think now for the first time, we have countries like China deciding which topic should be discussed, and how they should be discussed."

China has created "new institutions where emerging powers could articulate new ideas," said the scholar, citing the Belt and Road Initiative and the BRICS group as examples.

"That's really changing because usually the role of the West was to set the agenda to define the terms and to define exactly what each institution will do," said Stuenkel. "Whereas now you clearly have large international institutions led by non-Western powers, which is a functional change in the international system."

Another clear example was China's defense of globalization. Speaking highly of China's promises in favor of globalization made both at theAPECmeetings in 2016 and at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in 2017, Stuenkel said that China could play an important role in balancing the U.S. fear of globalization.

In response to some concerns from the Western world over China's rise, Stuenkel argued that China's strategy was to support the existing institutions rather weakening the existing order.

"I think the West has been very comfortable by having a central position and being able to impose certain norms and ideas," he said. "It's time to change."

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