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Davos forum: A small town's big view

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

01-25-2016 14:55 BJT

By Wu Xinbo, executive deputy dean of Institute of International Studies,  Fudan University

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland is a window to observe international spotlights. China has been a hot topic for many years, particularly in regard to its foreign policy and geopolitical presence in East Asia. Last year, WEF participants started to highlight China's economic development.


At the "Transitioning East Asia" session this year, attendees paid high attention to China's economic growth prospects, the "Belt and Road" initiative, and the impact of Beijing's regional comprehensive economic partnership (RECEP) and China's absence from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal.

Even though China's economic growth rate has slowed down in recent years, the world continues to hold high expectations for the country to drive the global economy. Meanwhile, participants showed declining interest over the nuclear test of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and South China Sea disputes.

Development stands with overriding importance. National interests and the people's livelihood are top priorities. At the "New Chapter of Sino-US Relationship" Session, presenters were asked to discuss development trends of Beijing and Washington relations.

American representatives claimed that Washington's attitude towards Beijing was experiencing negative changes, while Japanese speakers said that strategic competition between Beijing and Washington was unavoidable.

A scholar from China's Fudan Univercity viewed China-US ties in different perspective. He said, nevertheless, competition and cooperation have coexisted in Sino-US ties, while a good relationship would depend on a proper strategic vision, powerful leadership and excellent management. One participant said he noticed Beijing appeared more confident in handling Sino-US relations in a more constructive manner.

The "Future of Europe" seminar had also attracted a huge audience. The continent faces multiple crises over its economy, terrorism, refugees, and Ukraine conflicts. French Prime Minister, German Treasury Secretary, Greek Prime Minister explained their views on those topics.

They advocated strengthening cooperation on anti-terrorism, boosting domestic economic reforms, reducing trade protections, enhancing competitiveness, helping refugee source countries recover stability and tightened border control measures in Europe.

Meanwhile, Greece and Germany held different opinions over economic issues. Athens complained about economic inequality between southern and northern Europe, and had emphasized that increasing productivity stands as the most pressing matter.

Berlin responded that treaties and policies within the Euro zone were not followed strictly, and to abide by them is the key to improving competitiveness. Since the European Union (EU) faced up to political, economic and secure pressures, some problems still have no solutions or are difficult to resolve. Accordingly, 2016 may likely be a tough year for the EU. 

The American presidential election was also a highlight. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ash Carter talked about US President Barack Obama's agenda for the year, including winning Congress vote for the TPP (Trans-pacific Partnership) and combating "Islamic State."

Meanwhile, the leading Republican Party Presidential candidate Donald Trump had caused some audience members to express concerns over his negative comments about Muslims. At the "2016 America's Top Priorities" Session, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D.-De.), said he hoped the election would focus on policies and not on a candidate's personality.

Although the US economy has grown steadily, the slow rebound of the global economy had caused many Americans to ponder the future economic policies of the new White House. Accordingly, observing the world from the Davos forum many participants claim that 2016 is doomed to be a challenging year.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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