Wang Wen: China`s rise needs another 30 years` "protracted-war"


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Wang Wen: China`s rise needs another 30 years` "protracted-war"


By Wang Wen    Published: 2018-2-8

Over the past decade, the most popular viewpoint for the world`s changing situation is the rise of emerging countries and the decline of developed countries. However, judging from the share of various countries in the total global economy, the actual situation is more complicated and subtle.

The total amount of China`s economy has risen from 7.3% of global share in 2008 to about 15% in 2017, an increase of about 8%. It has indeed risen rapidly and reshaped the global economic structure. However, from 2008 to 2017, the United States always accounted for 22% -25% of the global economy. Especially in the past five years, the proportion of U.S. economy has steadily risen and has regain its position as pre-global financial crisis in 2008.

All indications show that the so-called "adjustment of the global economic and financial structure" in the past decade is actually an adjustment between China and veteran powers of Western Europe and Japan, which does not shake the position of the United States.

However, it is undeniable that the global financial crisis has hit the soft power of the United States. Over the past decade, the world has constantly criticized the loopholes in the U.S. financial regulatory system and rethought the disadvantages of the democratic and liberal system in the United States. In the process of criticism and reflection, China’s self-confidence gradually recovered. In particular, China has continuously sponsored such grand events as the G20 and the "Belt and Road" Forum for International Cooperation in recent years, prompting more and more countries to approve the "Chinese approaches".

Therefore, China must clearly realize that the gradually approval of "Chinese approaches” is just the first step in the "long march" for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The overall strength gap between the United States and China is still large and China needs to take a long time to catch up and surpass.

There are four reasons for this point. First, China still needs to go through a long period of time when its total economic output overtakes the United States. Second, there is a sharp rise in the resistance and panic from the traditional powers over the Chinese economic growth. Third, China`s development faces internal pressures and risks. Fourth, it is very difficult for China`s own values and social philosophy to convince the whole world in a short period of time.

The rise of China has entered a "new era", and is re-shaping the world structure and international system. However, the real remodeling of the international system is delicate and difficult and is entering a long "protracted war," which means that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has also entered into a period of "protracted war" and "tug of war" that will take about 30 years.

In order to win the protracted war and realize the rise of China, we must first of all have strategic endurance, keep a modest learning attitude towards our competitors for a long time, and persist in our approach of helping and supporting developing countries.

In this process, China must become a real global actor. We should not only be good at playing games with traditional powers, but also pay more attention to new growth points. We may find the developing potentials in the strategic vacuum such as the Internet, outer space, ocean and polar regions.

Wang Wen is executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.