Globalization Faces New Challenges but the Trend is Intact

来源: CHINA FOREX 2017 Issue 1 作者:Sun Jie

The tide of globalization has long been accompanied by vocal opposition but the election of Donald Trump as America's president and Britain's referendum on leaving the European Union has made it impossible to ignore the influence of the anti-globalization movement. These are the results of free elections in two of the world's most important countries,and they are forcing governments around the world to re-examine their policies. This may signal a return to the "normal" state of affairs after two decades of strides on the path towards greater globalization but it would be wrong to see this a definitive reversal of the trend.

Unlike the supporters of globalization,the opponents have been relatively vague in stating their objectives. The image of the opposition often has been that of protesters gathered outside some international conference hall or participating in street politics. For the most part they have not been a mainstream trend of thought. But along with the development of global economic mechanisms fostering greater economic integration there has also been a trend toward regionalism and more bilateral agreements while protectionism has gained currency,emerging as anti-dumping actions and the creation of new non-tariff barriers.

The current wave of globalization resulted from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. It was referred to as the peace dividend,but it was little more than an effort by the developed countries to make use of their capital and technological advantages to extend their influence and dominate global markets. Globalization was once regarded as an Americanization of the global economic order. But over time China and other emerging market economies significantly advanced their domestic reforms and achieved greater integration with the rest of the world. Together,these have been the main driving forces of globalization.

China has also been one of the main beneficiaries of globalization. It has seen rapid growth in its economy and a steep rise in its living standards. The United States still wields considerable influence around the world,but globalization can no longer be seen as an instrument of Americanization. China's international status is constantly gaining in importance. In the years since the 2008 global financial crisis,Western countries have seen a decline in their influence and there has been a major adjustment in the global economic order. In the face of this unexpected reversal of fortune,Western countries have accused China and other emerging market economies of taking a "free ride," failing to comply with international rules and resorting to unfair competition at the expense of other economies. The European Union,the United States and Japan have thus refused to grant China its rightful "full market economy status,"  for example. They have tried to create new rules to restrain China,and have attempted to block it from gaining a bigger role in the international community. Having failed in that endeavor,however,they have turned to reversing the tide of globalization.

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