China’s Proposing Behavior in Global Governance, by Hongsong Liu

With regard to the theme of China’s participation in global governance, the existing studies primarily focus on China’s participation in international institutions, China’s compliance with the rules of international institutions and the impact of international institutions on China’s domestic politics and foreign policy. However, the three questions do not cover all the aspects of China’s engagement in global governance. In the paper published in Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional (RBPI, special issue, 1/2014), the researcher explores the aspect of China’s participation in global governance which has not been paid sufficient attention to, and examine China’s proposing behavior in global governance and its main features by clarifying China’s reform proposals in the WTO Doha Round negotiation and the G-20 process.

The author argues that with the rise of China’s overall power and influence, China has not accepted all the arrangements in terms of form and substance in international institutions in an entirely passive manner, but rather manifested in an increasingly proactive posture by putting forward proposals for institutional design or reform or proposing to create international institutions with particular form and substance. To a large extent, this phenomenon is ignored by the existing studies. In order to examine China’s proposing behavior in global governance, the paper illuminates the reform proposals China put forward in the WTO Doha Round negotiation and G-20 process. Choosing the cases of the WTO Doha Round negotiation and G-20 process is justifiable on the following grounds. First, global economic governance is more salient compared to global governance in other issue areas in contemporary world politics. Second, The WTO Doha Round negotiation and G-20 process are critical junctures in the reform of global economic governance.  In such critical junctures, reform proposals have access to the agenda for negotiation or discussion, which encourages states to put forward reform proposals.

In the case of the WTO Doha Round negotiation, the author finds that China put forward some reform proposals proactively, which concentrated on the issues of the ruling bodies for the Doha Round, dispute settlement mechanism and anti-dumping rules. With regard to the G20 process, points out that China emphasized the direction toward establishing a fair, just, inclusive and orderly new international financial order again. Revolving around this direction, China put forward a series of reform proposals in G-20 summits. China’s reform proposals concentrated on the reform of international financial regulation, international financial institutions reform and international monetary system reform.

In terms of China’s proposing behavior, the author argues that three main features are worth noting. First, China advocated the proper adjustment of global governance institutions, instead of seeking to change the basic principles of the existing system of rules; Second, China did not take the lead in the process of proposing jointly with other countries; Third, China upheld the principled idea of pro-development in proposing behavior.

The paper concludes that China put forward a series of proposals on the reform of global economic governance by actively engaging in the critical junctures, which suggests that shaping the rules of international institutions proactively has become essential part of China’s engagement in global governance. In global governance, China is not only impacted by the rules of international institutions, but also evident in proposing to reform the rules. In proposing behavior, China advocated the proper adjustment of global governance institutions, rather than seeking to change the basic principles of the existing system of rules. Partly for national interest, China did not take the lead in proposing jointly with other countries. As the largest developing country, China had no strong interest in revising the existing rules of global economic governance in a development-oriented manner, but still upheld the principled idea of pro-development.

Contact: 

Hongsong Liu, School of International and Diplomatic Affairs, Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), China, hongsongl@hotmail.com

Read the article:

LIU, Hongsong. China’s proposing behavior in Global Governance: the cases of the WTO Doha Round negotiation and G-20 process. Rev. bras. polít. int.,  Brasília ,  v. 57, n. spe,   2014 .   Available from <http://www.scielo.br/article_plus.php?pid=S0034-73292014000300121&tlng=en&lng=en&gt;. access on  19  Oct.  2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0034-7329201400208.

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