We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hangzhou G20 results that benefit your life

Click here to access article by Wu Yan from China Daily (based in Beijing, China--USA version).

This article reports on six achievements that resulted from the conference. I also recommend other articles: "China convinces G20 nations with ‘fair’ communique" from Euractiv and "China’s G20 summit was big on show, but short on substance" from Australian based The Conversation. 

I think that this G20 summit, in which the most important leaders from capitalist countries and countries where private enterprises are used as major engines of development, served mostly as a platform for them to exchange ideas about further economic development. Because it was hosted by the Chinese government, it offered a major platform for China to urge the world leaders to support its win-win policies, the Belt and Road development plans for the Eurasian continent, and the China established Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank. However, many other issues were discussed at the conference including the Syrian conflict, refugees, computer hacking, terrorism, etc. 

To assuage those concerned about the effects of further economic growth driven only by profitable opportunities, US and China ratified the Paris Agreement to limit the global warming to 2C by the end of this century but without any specific shorter term commitments. (To be fair to China, they are making some efforts at encouraging environmentally friendly investments.) This, of course, is the major failing of China's win-win policy. Under this principle the Chinese have always sought economic development as a means of reducing conflict particularly within its borders, but increasingly by investing in the development of other countries. This has worked wonders for China and is having a major influence for better relations particularly with other developing countries. 

But the fact remains that unbridled economic development for its own sake is contributing to the increasing crisis of climate destabilization. On the other hand, their win-win policies also contribute to peaceful solutions and cooperation among nations. This is in sharp contrast to the hostile, imperial policies of the US in general, and in recent incidents in relations to other countries: the US delegation's recent arrogant behavior at the G20 and in the attempt to lecture the Philippine government about its handling of criminals.