U.S. inability to listen 'biggest danger'

2023-10-27 14:36:23China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Jeffrey Sachs, a professor at Columbia University's School of Public Affairs, speaks online during a session about building a harmonious world at the dialogue in Beijing on Thursday. (WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY)

The biggest danger right now is that the United States has lost its capacity to listen to other countries and to accept the redlines of other nations, according to renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs.

Sachs, a professor at the School of Public Affairs at Columbia University in the U.S., was addressing via video link a session on diversity of civilizations and a harmonious world, during the Global Strategic Dialogue (2023), jointly organized by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and China Daily, in Beijing on Thursday.

He said, "we're in a new era where there's the desire that every part of the world be heard properly, and we don't have a shared view of how this new multipolar world is going to operate".

"Institutionalizing dialogue is much better than yelling or much better than ignoring the other side," he said.

Sachs said the actual processes of listening to each other and institutional reform to strengthen the order operating under the UN Charter are urgently needed for a safer world.

He said he hoped that U.S. officials understand this is not the time to intensify the rhetoric or the conflict with China.

Xing Guangcheng, director-general of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, CASS, said apart from security and development, the Global Civilization Initiative is based upon the great importance attached to the understanding of civilization.

The initiative stands in opposition to the "clash of civilizations" theory of U.S. political scientist Samuel Huntington, and is a key philosophical idea for solving the crucial and catastrophic problems facing humankind.

"We should respect each other, maintain inclusiveness and seek dialogue in dealing with differences between civilizations," Xing added.

Flexibility is much more important than any stable and unchangeable arrangements, and that is a universal rule for all, Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of the Presidium of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy and research director of the Valdai Discussion Club in Russia, said in his speech via video link.

He stressed the importance of flexible multilateralism, primarily on the regional level, as "the global approach to solve global problems will be replaced by a regional approach with consequences of global problems for particular regions".

In these new situations the world will need to find ways to counter risk, he said.

Lukyanov said the China-Russia relationship, based on mutual interests and with no intention to impose their experiences on anybody else, is exemplary for all those who understand the need for a new system and are looking for models.

"It would be very useful for all in the world to study how the Russia-China relationship is being developed. … I think many good lessons can be learned from this," he said.

Yuan Zhengqing, a senior fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, CASS, said that as an important force in the global governance system, China has maintained multiple identities as an emerging power, a developing country, and more.

The country is able to provide new solutions with more Chinese wisdom for the development of world civilization and plays an important role in reforming and perfecting its mechanisms. It also has exchanges and cooperation with various countries based on the Chinese path to modernization, he said.

Yuan added that China will better practice mutual respect and trust in global governance, enhance cooperation with other countries through a global network of partnerships, and work with other countries to tackle various global challenges together with shared interests, rights and responsibilities.


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