PKU Holds the Fourth Annual Meeting of the “North Pavilion Dialogue”

Author:Global Times Date:2017-12-29 Source:Global Times

Source: Global Times, original title: Dynamic, changing times in world politics. For original text, please refer to the link below: 

Scholars talk about new trends in international politics at the North Pavilion Dialogue on Sunday. 

Editor's Note:

The world has witnessed many changes in recent years, such as rising populism and nationalism. Conflicts between different religious groups are on the rise and geopolitical contentions among powers are more intense. Against this backdrop, the North Pavilion Dialogue, an annual symposium organized by Peking University's Institute of International and Strategic Studies and the School of International Studies, discussed new trends in international politics with the theme "Adapting to a New Age of World Politics" on December 10. Following are excerpts of the discussion. 

Impact of Trump presidency 

Joseph Nye, Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University

It's a period of great uncertainty. The 2016 election in the US was extraordinary, as it was the first time that you have a major candidate for president calling into question the international order that has been created at the end of WWII.

Trump's policy statements during the campaign were very radical. His behavior as president has not yet been as radical as his statements during the campaign, but if one looks at some earlier decisions, like the Paris climate accord, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and discrediting the agreement on Iran nuclear weapons, they point to greater disorder. 

So what do these mean? We don't know, because President Trump is quite unpredictable. But what we do know is that the world as a whole is undergoing an enormous power shift in the 21st century. 

When people ask how I think of the new international order and what I am most afraid of, I would say I am more afraid of the rise of Trumpism than the rise of China. The key question is whether the sense of populism and nationalism in society will prevent us from organizing the cooperation needed to deal with these new types of transnational challenges.

John Negroponte, former US deputy secretary of state

When we hear Trump say something, you have to ask yourself the following questions. Is he saying this just to please his voter base and to fulfill promises that he made through his presidential campaign? Or is he really going to act on his words? That's not always the easiest thing to do.

Probably the most problematic area in my opinion with Mr. Trump's policies has been in the area of trade. One of his very first acts, on his first day in office, was to withdraw our signature from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. It has not yet come into force, but I think in his thinking it is an important gesture again to that political base. He has frequently used rhetoric that suggests he is seriously thinking of withdrawing from the free trade agreement. This trade issue could be a source of friction between the US and China.

Future of global governance

Nabil Fahmy, former foreign minister of Egypt

The international order that was established post WWII, particularly by the present UN, was a major plan to try to make a better world and prevent world wars. It has done well. But why is everybody anxious? Why do we want quick change? Because clearly that order has not satisfied the best interests of our people, be it for major powers or for the rest of the world. We must create a world order that is more equitable. 

The Middle East is going through its own transformation. Middle Eastern countries are trying to create a mechanism that responds more efficiently to the needs of the people. The reason I am confident that we will succeed is that the younger generation of Arabs, North Africans and Asians living in the region aspire to be better, and they  to experiences that allow them to better themselves and learn from the mistakes of the past.

Shivshankar Menon, former national security advisor of India

For me, the lesson that I've drawn is that most of the problems we have discussed are man-made problems. Even for the North Korean nuclear issue, there is a common base of what everybody wants to achieve - the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We might differ on how to get there and which things to do first. But ultimately everybody has the same common interests to prevent the nuclearization of the peninsula.

Wang Yizhou, Deputy Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University 

There are many new signs showing an evolution in world politics in the post-Cold War era. Three new phenomena have stood out in recent times. The first is the impact of Trump's election, which has given rise to populism, nationalism and protectionism. Globalization is facing resistance diplomatically and culturally, which is witnessed throughout the world. The second is the impact of artificial intelligence and the development of the digital world. The telecommunication revolution is accelerating. The third is the emergence of non-state entities, which has impacted methods of interaction among governments. 

Old theories cannot always be applicable to our fast-changing world, meanwhile, China is transforming, from having a relatively marginalized role to a central role. But China cannot act like the US. Except in the area of trade, in other areas, there is a gap between China's capability and other countries' expectations. 

China needs to better understand the changing world politics. Domestic media outlets talk too much about China's advantage and confidence, as if we don't need to understand the world. That is not correct. There are still many unfamiliar parts of the world that we need to better understand and to better handle.

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