May 28

China: Responsible Stakeholder, Stakeholder, or World Leader?

Written by Legalist on Friday, May 28th, 2010 at 10:57 pm
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Robert Zoellick, former US deputy secretary of state and current World Bank chief, coined a role for China, responsible stakeholder. It was obviously self-serving because the US wanted to retain the right to judge who was responsible and who was not.

China clearly didn’t pick the role up although there are still commentators who say China should do this or that if it is to be a responsible stakeholder.

Furthermore, China doesn’t seem to like the descriptor of stakeholder either. It’s such a neutral term, one doesn’t know what it means anyway.

Instead, China should strive to be a world leader. Like it or not, or exercise it or not, China’s influences on the global economy, energy, environment and security are growing.

China needs to sit at the top table setting rules and enforcing them accordingly for the sake of global prosperity and security. The annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue is a good start.

China can’t claim to be a poor or third-world country for inaction anymore. Many in the world are looking to China for leadership.

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8 Responses to “China: Responsible Stakeholder, Stakeholder, or World Leader?”

  1. Legalist Says:

    So many days without a new post. Maybe the admin can bring this one to the main page.

  2. pug_ster Says:


    I think what you said is a good statement but I disagree with you. I think there are alot of countries out there whom are afraid of China’s ‘peaceful rise.’ If China decides to be a ‘responsible stakeholder’ they are nothing less than Western Lackies like Japan and South Korea. If China decides to be a ‘stakeholder’ by setting up rules independent of the West, it will bring China to Cold War II.

    I think the day when China can start winning its neighbors like Japan, South Korea and India as its ‘strategic’ partners without the influence of the US, then China can start making itself as a ‘stakeholder’ independent of the West. Otherwise, I doubt China has a chance.

  3. Legalist Says:

    Pug_ster: some countries are in fear of China’s rise. That’s a fact but China is rising regardless. Its neighbors better get used to its rising and try to benefit from it. I think japan’s DPJ is trying to adjust to it. South Korea hasn’t got on the program.

  4. hotmoney Says:

    How small countries are dealing with China nowadays: a case of Israel diplomacy on Iran …


    “Ties between Israel and China are collegial but Israeli officials have been working hard to regain Beijing’s favor since a bungled arms deal in 2000 infuriated Chinese leaders. More recently, they have also had to compete against China’s growing thirst for Middle East oil, which makes up half the country’s petroleum imports. With its single-minded focus on securing the energy required for continued economic growth, Beijing has shifted some of its diplomatic ardor to the countries of the Middle East, some of which are Israel’s sworn enemies.”

    How sad that Israel politicians still don’t understand Chinese value weathered relations more than self-interested ones. Israel not only infuriated China when canceling those contracts, they turned around those those advanced gadgets to India …

  5. Legalist Says:

    I agree israel made a huge mistake selling the ware to India. China-Israel relation is no longer the same and will never be. It’s its loss for sure.

  6. No99 Says:

    I think there are many ways China can be a world leader. It won’t be in the same way as the US or EU, it doesn’t have to. Their foundations and relationships with the world is different. It will be mostly dependent on how China runs it’s own land. It doesn’t have to interfere with other countries, just due to the size of China alone and the activities its people are involved in, there’s no way it can’t be involved with other places.

    For example, if people want live more comfortable and prosper, in one way or another, China is going to have to find ways of managing its resources. In this area, whatever ideas China comes up with, technology, designs, protocols, etc. if it actually works in any fashion, other places around the world will learn. Kind of like leading by example, except since the world is so connected, China will end up taking part in other countries policies regarding this, whether through academic exchanges, business networks,etc. The water issue along is a cause for concern as a lot of Asia’s water flows from the Tibetan Region, China can’t risk being self-centered. It can try but for the sake of survival alone, eventually we all have to play it well with the neighbors. For the sake of the environment and future generations, countries will have to work on this together. Actually this issue alone affects many other variables in society.

    How it deals with it’s minorities and foreigners is going to be another tough issue. However, for a country of it’s size with a unique history, whatever obstacles it overcomes there regarding this area will be another way it can have some type of influential role. I know many people might laugh or dismiss it but this issue is true of any country.

    So I guess you all can say that China’s leadership is in the world is kind of related to how well it can take care of its own home, fixing domestic problems and how to live with the neighbors.

    Something to think about.

  7. hotmoney Says:

    To see things and trends in big picture and through history scope and sequence, people will not be surprised to realize the world, as we are currently living in, is undergoing a period of fundamental transformation — the world’s geo-political and economical order established after WWII, harden by the notorious Cold War, is fading fast, replaced by a new map that is still in its infancy while consequence is unknown to many.

    As the result, many notions and thinking that we have been depending on throughout our lives become outdated. This is also a particularly tricky time for countries of large and small to navigate through this trouble water — they are co-dependent and, at the same time, strategic competitors.

    Does this trend of development leads to a more persistently peaceful world order in which people and nations learn that co-existence and competition are two-side of the same coin, or another painful period of deep conflicts arising from the ash of historical enmity. This is something only time can tell.

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