稿源：中国日报网 编辑：刘阳 2022-08-25 19:43
波兰前副总理、北京师范大学一带一路学院特聘教授格热戈日·科沃德科 (Grzegorz W. Kolodko) 日前作客中国日报新媒体与中国观察智库联合推出的访谈节目《连线·全球政要看中国十年》，就中国经济社会发展、全球化、中美和中欧关系及其他国际热点问题分享了自己的观点。
(Grzegorz W. Kolodko)
Let's start with some questions about China. I heard that you first came to China about 30 years ago. What changes have you seen in all these years?
My first visit to China was in the summer. It was August 1989, say exactly, a third of a century ago. And that was a different world. And I was very much impressed by the might of China in terms of the people, of the vast country.
And since that time, the things change. I've been dozens of times to China. And if I go back to 1989, absolutely, not only myself, I think nobody at that time would expect such horrendous economic progress has occurred in China. Now due to the development there is no any extreme poverty anymore. So, China has made the greatest economic progress in the most populous country in the course of history, not only during our lifetime and I’m very much impressed by these achievements. And that is why I do pay so much attention to China to understand better what is going on, how the things happen and what are the lessons the other countries may learn from China’s success and also from certain problems and failures, which you do have in China. There is not a country; there is not a place with the luck of no problems. But I think that the political and intellectual leaders are very much aware of these problems and they are trying to address the issues.
So, what is the greatest impression China has made on you, it is economic or political?
I’m an economist. And first of all, I’m taking a look into the economic matters.
First things first, China has taken off hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. I'm comparing China nt with the United States. Sometimes, also it is justifying, we should compare China with India. I'm comparing China with India. And here we see the tremendous China’s progress. While GDP per capita in India in 1991 -- 30 years ago -- was higher than that in China, now, Chinese GDP per capita is at least three times higher than it is in India. Now we do not have so-called extreme poverty measured according to the World Bank definition, $1.9 purchasing power parity per capita per day. Not at all. It's been erased. And this is the very great success of China’s economic and social policies.
So this comparison and some other comparative measures are telling us how successful has been the Chinese course of economic reforms, and the Chinese system with the economic policy.
What words would you use to summarize China’s economic achievements in the last 10 years?
Well, I think that the last 10 years, they have changed significantly -- and in an irreversible way -- China’s international position. Now, China is one of the engines of the world economic development, but also a powerhouse in political and also military meaning without the consequences for the world and for the irreversibility of globalization. But what are the consequences? It is disputable. Some people are very happy that China has strengthen so much in the last 10 years, but some other people are very much concerned. You must be aware how much of criticism is in some Western countries, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom. I would say much less in France and Germany, also less in Poland, but that is also driving some hostility towards China.
China’s international policy, as I think, oriented not for world expansion, but is run from a pragmatic viewpoint -- how external Chinese policies may contribute to sustaining the momentum, sustaining the social and economic development in China. That is also, I think, the driving force or founding cause of the Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is making such an impression all over the world. So, the Belt and Road Initiative is one of the trademarks of the last 10 years, and again, somebody is concerned or even afraid of this initiative. I do not. I put some trust; I put down some hope in this initiative.
What are the main challenges the global economy faces today, in your opinion?
You know, when we say there are challenges, there is plenty of them. The situation is indeed very dynamic. When your newspaper is to be printed online tonight or in paper tomorrow, there is also some kind of risk that your message can become obsolete when somebody will read it. But when you write a book on the irreversibility of globalization, as I do, it's extremely difficult because the situation changes sometimes very significantly on day-to-day basis. Just take a look into the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has engaged in non-military, non-directly fighting matters. So many countries, especially NATO, the countries of which are supplying Ukraine with weapons, which has the global consequences for the energy crisis, for the food supply crisis, which will fuel further their encouragement of economic and humanitarian driven migrations.
So, migration of the people who is one of the biggest challenge in the contemporary world. And this international migration of people is unstoppable and it is causing very many problems. we will see an influx of migrants from Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, to Europe. There will be more of them coming from Middle and South America and Caribbean islands through North America, especially to the United States. We will see also movement of the people within the continents, within Africa, within Asia, and it will be causing very many problems. The problem of security is a very big issue. The new military build-up spiral, and also the economic issues which are our economists’ concern, the getting momentum again, inflation. It is not that much of headache in countries like China or Japan. But it is a big problem in most of the European Union countries, in North America, in Latin America, much more, say, in Russia and in Turkey than in Spain or Italy. the question is how to counter inflation without causing recession and growing unemployment. And these problems on economic side -- inflation, inequality, public debt, poverty, they are causing several problems on the political side of the world.
And from this perspective, this situation is not only challenging and difficult. It is just risky. It calls for not only knowledge-based economy about which we are talking so much. It also calls for knowledge-based policies and politics. The politics is driven mostly by emotions, not by reason, not by rationality. So my main concern at the summer of 2022 is how to make irreversible globalization, both in economic and political sense, more rational, to sustain the momentum since globalization will be still a proactive factor in social, economic, and ecological development.
And now you have the environment. That is nothing new. Somebody says that there's too much talking about protection of natural environment, counteracting warming of the climate. I'm not sure is it too much talking, but definitely there is not enough doing, and the political tensions, the military tensions, the other economic problems are driving, again, the attention of the policymakers -- I'm afraid that to some extent, maybe also in China, but to much bigger extent, say in Western Europe, Eastern Europe or North America -- from focusing on fighting the warming of the climate, which is the existential challenge for the future of the mankind.
Now we're talking about the Sino-US problems. The United States is adjusting its policies towards China. What's your opinion on this?
Very negative. I'm very, very upset by the American behavior. My great disappointment is Joe Biden's presidency. I was putting some hope that when Mr Trump was driven out of the White House, his successor -- who turned to be Mr Biden -- will cease, will finish this Sinophobic or just anti-Chinese policy -- “Making America Great Again”, returning to protectionism, certain American megalomania, etc. This is the Second Cold War. The first was finished in 1989-1991, with great contribution of Poland. Unfortunately, now there is again the Cold War, so this is the Second Cold War. Actually, I used the term already eight years ago. It was initiated not by China, not by Russia. It was initiated by the United States, and it is being continued by American presidency, American State under the Biden presidency, with great support of some countries, like, for instance, especially the United Kingdom or some smaller countries in the European Union. So until recently, a number of political enemies of the US: number one was China.
Who needs this Cold War? That's a question. Well, first of all, the military industrial complex, and their political and media supporters. So we've got involved in the military arms race. And this is very risky, not only because of a threat, of some mistake, and another military conflict of here or there. This is the historical blunder, because, make no mistake, listen to what I'm saying right now, it will be extremely difficult, if at all possible, to counter successfully warming of the climate without cutting military expenses. Military expenses are very costly, and they absorb money, our public money or taxpayer money or government's money. But fighting the warming of the climate is a long shot, and it is also very, very expensive. Therefore, where do we take the money from? From cutting the social expenses for education or healthcare? That would be nonsense. From stopping some of our infrastructure projects, which are needed for household and entrepreneurial sectors? That would be a nonsense. The only reservoir where there is the money to be taken off for co-financing, the private sector effort to shift to green economy and to develop renewable energy sources attempts, is to reverse the arms race, to stop and reverse the military spiral as we've done it 30 years ago.
Is there a peaceful solution for the New Cold War?
So how to end this Cold War? I don't expect any significant effort in this direction from the current leadership of the United States and the crucial NATO members. So maybe some signal from Beijing. Maybe some. That will be very, very encouraging. Let's stop this craziness with Second Cold War. Let's try to do jointly, together something similar to what has been done three decades ago. And let's cut the military expenses by one-third. Don't increase them by one-third, because otherwise, people will be hungry. People will be dying. People will be on our streets fighting and demonstrating against such irreality. And we will be blamed. And who else supposed to be blamed is now the leadership which is causing the problems. They are not caused by nature. They are not caused by external objective factors. They are caused by policy mistakes. And there is a diagnosis, but there's not yet a therapy. So now, all the problems we are talking about are solvable. There is a solution, but it does not imply that we are on the path to solve them. And that does not imply that they will be solved. But they may be solved, and that's some reason for optimism.
How would you describe the Sino-Polish relations today?
They are good, relatively very good if you compare our relations with the relations between some other EU and NATO members with China. Our trade, despite the trade war between the West and China, trade terms are always growing.
And Poland, which I want to emphasize significantly and clearly, we were not driven by Americans, by the US, by the hawkish politicians of NATO and anti-Chinese camp. There is no Sinophobia in Poland as it is in some political circles in Britain or the United States. There is rather plenty of interest and sympathy towards China's culture, China's nature, China's economy, and so on. So from this perspective, Poland may play an important role and be a significant factor in the improvement of European or Eurasian relations with China. Take a look, for instance, the economists, some intellectuals, some think tanks, and of course the politicians of the West. Again, first of all, Americans and British. They are envisioning the future of the world as splitted, this map in two blocks -- one, West led by the United States and European Union, and second, East led by China and Russia --This time in this sequence, China and Russia, not Russia and China.
And there may be economic facility and even sometime they may use some military leverage to bring into these two blocks the other countries from all over the world. My vision, my proposition is different. Instead of driving, going and visioning the world in the future as two hostile blocks led by the US and China, I'm saying that it can consist of two parts, Eurasia, and Euro-Atlantic. Take a look, Europe is in both. We are part of Euro-Atlantic structure, economic integration, political mutual ground, military alliance of NATO, etc. But we are also a member, part of Eurasia. And Poland is a very specific country in both, because we are at the border between West and East in some sense.
So therefore, instead of competing, say, between infrastructure investment projects, Next Generation of the European Union, and Belt and Road Initiative, “16+1” of China, I would propose that, for instance, experts from European Commission and from Chinese government sit down at the table and pragmatically negotiate how to combine these two great infrastructure programs, Next Generation of European Union in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and “16+1” within Belt and Road Initiative to improve the infrastructure of East-Central European economies to contribute to their development and to make the trade, the economic integration, the win-win, the inclusive globalization which is very much an interest of both China and Europe, more efficient. One more time, all these challenges we are talking about, they do have the solution. But unfortunately, we are not yet on the way, on the road to solve these problems. You must be very careful.
The 20th National Congress of the CPC will convene in Beijing this year. What is your expectation for the meeting?
I expect that China's ruling party leaders will correctly address the domestic and international challenges and will find an answer how to address the domestic problems in a compatible way with external position of China. I think that it will be an achievement if in the aftermath of the Congress of the Communist Party, your diplomacy, your intellectuals, your media, your politicians, will be capable to convince us in the remaining parts of the world about the true Chinese agenda, aims, targets, and to convince the people China is indeed working not only on behalf of the Chinese people which is obvious but with the accountability, responsibility or co-responsibility for the people elsewhere. So more deeds, less words. China must prove that China is not assaultive, that China is not going to attack anybody else, but is ready and committed to cooperate with everybody else if this everybody will be open for further development of relations with China. That may happen. That should happen. Will it happen? Let's wait and see.
So what is your foresee about China's future?
Positive. But as I said several times, economic growth would be slower. China is able to avoid so-called hard landing. China's economy will be soon bigger than American even on the current exchange rate basis, not on the power purchasing parity. China's society will be aging, which will be growing challenge for China, as they have already seen in Japan or we in Western Europe, in Germany, in Poland, and in actually each 27 countries of the European Union. And I hope that China will not get involved in any external conflict, that China’s international significance will be only filled in a peaceful and economic influence manner all over the world. China will remain a chance for the world's sustainable development, not a threat. These are my expectations for the forthcoming future.
记者：沈一鸣 栗思月 栾瑞英 张钊 刘夏
实习生：吕文祎 王博麟 杨恒瑞 袁嘉忆