More engagement the right way to overcome differences between nations
MORE engagement is the right path for navigating the strong but complex relations between the United States and China, said a renowned US scholar on Saturday.
“China’s emergence not only as a global economy, but a force in the world in all dimensions, is going to be a defining feature of the 21st century,” said Geoffrey Garrett, dean of Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, in his speech at the opening ceremony of the Wharton China Summit 2018.
Garrett refuted some US scholars’ view that the United States and China are destined for the “Thucydides Trap” — inevitable power struggles between rising and established big powers.
“Yes it’s true China and US have differences, but if you take the business and economic view of difference, you see it is productiveness, because difference allows for complementarity, compatibility and win-win collaboration,” he said.
China’s rapid development has benefited the US economy over the years, Garrett said. For example, General Motors, the most important industrial company in the US history, would not be able to survive bankruptcy if it had not had Chinese partners and Chinese markets in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, he added.
“The most important thing we can do is to make sure the differences between the US and China are a source of economic strength and sources of business opportunity, economic activity, not a source of conflict,” Garrett said.
“I am greatly confident that will be the history we will all live because you will make the history ... more engagement is the right path for us, for the most important relations in the world,” Garrett told over 1,000 students from various US universities.
The annual Wharton China Summit, inaugurated in April 2016, has become the largest student-organized summit on China in the United States.