The G8’s expansion to the G20 three years ago has often been described as the future of economic success. Prosperity seemed likely at the time. As the financial crisis threatened almost every developed country, the G20 promised a secure sense of cohesion that served to calm the ever-increasing panic and frustration.
We currently find ourselves still going global economic problems, and instead of bringing the world together, the Eurocrisis and the US recession have only served to highlight the ever-increasing differences between a stagnant, arrogant West and an East thriving at a threatening, hectic pace.
There is no place for charity from the East to the West…
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, has played host to the recent gathering of global leaders and has expressed his anger at what the Greeks have done. But then again, what did he expect? Did he really believe that China would accede to pump funds into the eurozone bailout and allow him to take credit for it? The French would not have done so if it had been the other way round, so why should China be expected to follow suit?
The G8’s expansion is perceived in the West as a way of co-operation between the ‘nouveau riche’ and the old, industrial nations. Rising Eastern powers, however, see it as the stake to their rightful position within the order of things, pursuing their interests as the West has always done. There is no place for charity from the East to the West as it does not fit this new vision of a changed world.
Beijing sees Europe’s and America’s stagnation as…
Then again, we can, hand on heart, say that this is a crisis for the whole of the global economy, and China’s insistence on maintaining control of its currency is detrimental to all.
From a Chinese perspective, China should allow its currency to rise and shift its economy from export to home consumption and, along with the oil-producing countries, make good use of their foreign reserves to aid the Europeans. Beijing sees Europe’s and America’s stagnation as the consequence of their own actions: their obsession with the establishment of a free market economy and their low standards of political leadership. The latest developments in Greece simply serve to exemplify another nation struggling to get their act together.
…the Chinese fail to understand why they should modify their own, internal policies…
Even before the Greek PM decided to shock the world and infuriate his global partners by announcing a referendum on what seemed to be a likely austerity package, there was something completely humiliating in the way that Sarkozy proceeded to look East for a solution, almost begging President Hu Jintao for an economic bailout.
Needless to say, this does not actually mean that Sarkozy will be inadvertently rejected. China is aware that a proper solution to the Eurozone crisis, and a resumption of US economic growth is well in its interest. Yet, the Chinese fail to understand why they should modify their own, internal policies to suit the greedy West. Beijing is willing to comfort the West with well engineered speeches reflecting their wish to see the euro’s development as a strong competitor against the dollar. They refuse, however, to fork out funds if they run the risk of losing money.
…highly concerned with their own inflation and employment problems…
China will not allow their own economy to sink, and any hopes of it floating their currency at the expense of exports over the encouragement of domestic consumption is not only completely illusory but foolish. The Chinese are still highly concerned with their own inflation and employment problems and are hardly ready to look outwards in order to save the Eurozone.
It has never been clearer, if the West really wants a solution then it must find one for itself.
Images courtesy of Nicolas Sarkozy and the EU