Boao Forum to highlight China's role as key stabilizer of global economy, says U.S. scholar

Updated 2018-04-04 16:44:01 Xinhua

The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference will be "an excellent place" for China to lay out its role as a key stabilizer for the regional and world economy, a senior U.S. scholar has said.

"The United States is simply becoming incapable with each passing day to bear the responsibilities of global economic leadership," said Sourabh Gupta, senior fellow at the Institute for China-America Studies in Washington, D.C.

"China, along with the European Union (EU), which to its credit remains committed to rules-based economic multilateralism, must fill this vacant space," Gupta told Xinhua.

"The United States doesn't care much about the economic system any more. It is more focused on extracting self-regarding gains from the system as its position of preeminence within the system whittles away," he said.

Gupta said for the sake of the global economy's stability, China must gradually take over the role the United States had played during the first half of the 20th century.

The European powers were either unable or unwilling to provide the economic stability the global economy needed. So it fell upon the United States to become a provider or exporter of international capital to the global economy; next, to become a consumer or importer of goods and services produced by the global economy; and finally, to provide a currency that could serve as a safe and liquid asset in which the global economy's excess savings could be stored.

"China is already the biggest contributor to global growth and among the biggest capital exporters in the international system," Gupta said. "As it liberalizes and becomes a more consumption-centered economy, it is also gradually becoming a key consumption pole -- not just a growth pole -- within the global economy."

However, he noted that the Chinese yuan is still some way off from becoming a true "safe haven" currency. "China needs to tackle its banking and financial sector leverage problems energetically and continue moving on a liberalizing track," he said.

The BFA would be an excellent place for China to reiterate its commitment to open multilateralism, which Chinese President Xi Jinping had championed in Davos and Geneva last year, Gupta said.

He said it would also be an excellent place for China to lay out a co-leadership role with the EU to deepen trade and investment reform within the global economy, as well as to highlight the important economic and administrative restructuring decisions taken during China's "two sessions" -- the annual sessions of the National People's Congress, the national legislature, and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body.

The BFA will be held in Boao, a coastal town in China's southern island province of Hainan, on April 8-11. Its theme is "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."

Xi will deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony.

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