China hosting major talks with Europe, US

08:22, May 24, 2010      

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Top officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are holding discussions with more than 50 visiting party leaders from Europe on Monday on how to cope with global financial and climate woes.

Organized by the International Department of the Central Committee of CPC, the two-day China-Europe High-Level Political Parties Forum starts on Monday in Beijing.

The dates of the Sino-European event coincide with those of the strategic and economic dialogue between Beijing and Washington.

China's top leaders are scheduled to meet the delegates and give speeches at the Sino-Europe forum, which is the first event of its kind in the past 35 years.

Reliable sources have privately said some European party leaders are primarily focusing on learning about China's experiences in dealing with the global financial crisis and the credit crunch, which have worsened in some European countries.

Although Beijing doesn't want to play up the coincidence involved in the dates of the two dialogues, think tank experts said it is an "unusual" arrangement for China to host dialogues with the US, the only global power, and Europe, the influential global player, on the same days.

"This arrangement is unusual and it shows that China is a very important part of the solutions for global concerns and woes," said Chi Fulin, president of the China Institute for Development and Reform.

As an influential political advisor for China's leadership, China has been "on the right track" in its global role, especially since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, mostly because its fast-paced economic growth has been sustained, Chi said.

"China has accumulated some lessons and experiences in the process," said Chi. "The leadership, I think, is willing to share with the rest of the world to stabilize the global economy and financial system."

Chi said "sharing lessons and experiences" is an important facet of the constructive role China wants to play in the international community, even to the US and Europe.

"I hope the global players can follow historic trends and put their ears to the knowledge."

Chi said the topics of the two dialogues may overlap, and global financial governance, climate change and clean technology should top the discussion list.

Michael Eckhart, founding president of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), said the US is becoming the leader in the field of clean technology, while China is becoming the manufacturing leader, and both countries are leaders in adopting the new clean energy systems.

However, the sudden, massive increase in clean technology manufacturing in China over the past three to four years, with rumors of vast government subsidies that allow Chinese firms to sell at prices below the full market cost, has gotten everyone's attention around the world, he said.

"This has been made worse by reports from Western companies that they are being blocked from competing in the Chinese markets for wind power and solar energy," Eckhart said.

"These are very serious issues that will need to be addressed without delay."

Some are thinking big. Martin Schoenhals, a professor of China studies from New York-based Dowling College, expects the US, Europe and China can start to design institutional tools to help realize the peaceful historic shift in the world today.

China's traditions of emphasizing peaceful governance and avoiding military conflict are its strengths, he said.

As the world moves toward an era of potential disarmament, and a transition from military to judicial and multilateral bodies, such as the United Nations and the European Union is to settle conflicts peacefully, China can, and should, take a major role in global issues, said Schoenhals.

"If China, Europe and the United States can cooperate in carrying out a historic shift to institutionalizing the settlement of transnational disputes through peaceful bodies, then the entire world will benefit," said Schoenhals.

Source:China Daily


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