A China e o Mundo

06 jun 22

Entrevista: China and Global South should create new diplomatic grammar to solve problems

Evandro Menezes de Carvalho

Entrevista publicada no Global Times no dia 10 de maio de 2022 onde pude tratar de diversos temas relacionados à política externa chinesa. Alguns pontos de vistas que estarão no meu livro foram abordados também aqui.

[Global Times] Editor’s Note:

For the Chinese people, the past decade was epic and inspirational. The country, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, has made great endeavors in boosting its economy, deepening reforms, improving the rights of its people and acting as a responsible power globally.

Global development now faces various challenges, what is the key for the international community in this context? In the following interview, Evandro Menezes de Carvalho (Carvalho), director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the Brazilian college Getulio Vargas Foundation, shared his view on this issue with Global Times (GT) reporter Xu Hailin, as well as his understanding of China’s role in promoting common development of the world. This is the fourth of the series.

GT: The 14th BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held in June in China’s Xiamen. The summit will be themed “Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development.” Amid the current international situation, global development faces various challenges. How do you think the international community should handle these challenges?

Carvalho: Since the end of the Cold War, the world has embraced the idea of so-called globalization with the promise of a free circulation of goods and people across borders. The emergence of the internet as we know it and the creation of the World Trade Organization in the 1990s were driving forces of this ideology and, above all, of the liberal economic order. China’s entry into the WTO in 2001 was an event of the utmost importance given its economic weight and population. Many Western analysts saw this as a harbinger of China’s adherence to the Western economic model. Once again, these analysts were looking at China with a wrong lens.

The most important thing was that multilateralism was gaining ground, regardless of each country’s political and economic regimes, in line with the spirit of the United Nations, which does not discriminate against States because of their government regimes and economic model. But the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in 2001 and the 2008 financial crisis reversed the positive expectations fueled in the 1990s that seem increasingly distant now. Multilateralism begins a retraction stage aggravated by the US’ difficulty in dealing with China’s economic rise. Such a scenario led the US to take protectionist and unilateralist measures that question this country’s commitment to the economic order it once ardently defended.

The scenario is still getting worse. The US began to question the rules of the international system that they had defended before. Also, since the war against Iraq in 2001, the US showed signs of privileging NATO over the UN when the matter is of supreme national interest and meets its demands for expansion of power. This expansion and how it is being carried out worries many countries. Suffice it to note that the vast majority, if not all, countries in South and Central America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia have refused to impose sanctions against Russia in the current conflict with Ukraine, contrary to the expectations of the US and the other NATO countries. We are not saying that those countries are against the US and NATO, but they do not want a unipolar world. They don’t agree to submit multilateralism to the interests of only a few powerful Western countries. So, it is time to urgently re-discuss the future of the UN, its reform and support initiatives that strengthen multilateralism.

GT: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been put forward for nine years. It has benefited many countries including Brazil. How do you evaluate China’s concept of mutually beneficial cooperation? What’s your take on China’s role in the past decade in promoting common development of different countries?

Carvalho: The Belt and Road Initiative is the first major international initiative of this 21st century, with positive repercussions for the Eurasian region and even for other African and Latin American countries. In other words, it is an initiative that promotes and expands multilateralism and, therefore, should be very welcome. The BRI is an economic integration project different from those that prevailed in the 20th century and that had two great models as a reference: the European model, based on the constitution of an international organization – in this case, the European Union – with a highly complex legal-institutional apparatus and with a transfer of part of the sovereignty of its Member States to some bodies of this organization; and the US model, which is based on a low-profile economic integration process, oriented toward the constitution of free trade zones that only imply the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers for goods, without worrying about the free circulation of people and with very few investments in infrastructure to improve the international trade between the countries involved in the economic integration project.

06 jun 22

New diplomatic philosophy aims to deliver win-win results

Since the end of the Cold War, the world has embraced the idea of globalization with the promise of a free circulation of goods and people across borders. The emergence of the Internet as we know it and the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the 1990s were driving forces of this ideology and, above all, of the liberal economic order.

China’s entry into the WTO in 2001 was an event of the utmost importance given its economic weight and population. Many Western analysts saw this as a harbinger of China’s adherence to the Western economic model. Once again, these analysts were looking at China with the wrong lens.

Meeting challenges

The most important thing was that multilateralism was gaining ground, regardless of each country’s political and economic regimes, in line with the spirit of the UN, which does not discriminate against states because of their government regimes and economic models. But the

September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City in 2001 and the 2008 financial crisis reversed the positive expectations fueled in the 1990s that seem increasingly distant now. Multilateralism has begun a retraction stage aggravated by the U.S.’ difficulty in dealing with China’s economic rise. This scenario has led the U.S. to take protectionist and unilateralist measures that raise questions about its commitment to the economic order it once ardently defended.

And this scenario continues to worsen. The U.S. began to question the rules of the international system that they had defended before. Also, since the war against Iraq in 2001, the U.S. has showed signs of privileging NATO over the UN when the matter is of supreme national interest and meets its demands for expansion of power.

This expansion and how it is being carried out worry many countries. It suffices to note that the vast majority of, if not all, countries in South and Central America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia have refused to impose sanctions against Russia in the current conflict with Ukraine, contrary to the expectations of the U.S. and other NATO countries.

We are not saying that those countries are against the U.S. and NATO, but they do not want a unipolar world. They don’t agree to submit multilateralism to the interests of only a few powerful Western countries. So, it is time to urgently rediscuss the future of the UN, its reform, and support initiatives that strengthen multilateralism.

09 dez 21

Towards a Democratic Debate on Chinese Democracy

The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China recently published the White Paper entitled “China: Democracy That Works.” This document’s release could not have come at a more opportune time: on the eve of the so-called Summit for Democracy hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden under the argument of preventing democratic setbacks in several countries. China was not invited to this Summit. Interestingly though, China was the only country that has submitted a document on the subject so far.

As China was not invited, it is legitimate to consider this Summit as a U.S. action to create difficulties for Chinese foreign policy. After all, in Donald Trump’s government, the U.S. tried to carry out an economic “decoupling” of bilateral trade with China. At the same time, surprisingly, they practiced an isolationist foreign policy in the U.S. relationship with the world. Biden is running out of time to reverse the negative consequences of Trump’s isolationist policy and believes this involves a campaign in defense of a “decoupling” of the world with China. The underlying reason for this U.S. action has nothing to do with American divergences about the Chinese political system, but rather all to do with the fact that China is the largest trading partner of approximately 130 countries, surpassing the U.S., and accounts for 13 percent of global trade, having surpassed the U.S. in 2013.

Obviously, the U.S. has the right to invite whoever it wants to such a Summit. China, in turn, also has the right to be part of this public debate and defend its socialist democracy that is enshrined in its Constitution. There are two contradictions in that Summit for Democracy that stand out: the first is that the decision on who is or is not a democracy is undemocratic and lacks clear criteria. If there were such criteria, would they be enough to characterize a country as a “democracy”? This is a good topic for a democratic discussion.

08 mar 21

China’s Diplomacy Promotes a Human Community with a Shared Future

This year China celebrates the centenary anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Leading up to the commemoration, many international analysts have already started to debate China’s new foreign policy and its impact on the international order. This debate has two motivating factors. The first and most important is the prediction that the Chinese economy will surpass the American economy before 2030. The other factor is the role of Chinese diplomacy in combating the pandemic, through which China has helped more than a hundred countries in COVID-19 prevention, control and vaccination, in contrast to the U.S.’ lackluster responses to the pandemic. This is not a discussion about the world’s leadership profiles but a global governance model for the future.

In the field of international relations and international law studies, European and American theories predominate. To continue along these lines means the world will not be able to think of new ways of organizing international relations in a context of global transformation, in which China assumes an unprecedented role in its history and the history of humanity.
I assume that, in the 21st century, no major challenge for humanity will be solved without the active participation of China. Challenges related to the environment, financial crises, international security, and global public health, for example, will only be effectively addressed if there is a Chinese contribution. If we agree with this assumption, then there needs to be an understanding of China and a constant dialogue with it. So, what are the obstacles preventing this? Little is known about the Chinese way of thinking, cooperating, and resolving conflicts and how this Chinese approach and wisdom, reflected in its daily diplomatic practices, could favor a new standard of diplomacy and international relations. 
08 dez 20

BRICS and Global Governance: Rebuilding a New and Inclusive Multilateralism

The pandemic exposed the international political tensions arising from China’s economic ascension and the dispute over more efficient governance models adapted to contemporary demands and challenges. One declaration given by an international authority figure brought this debate in the midst of one of the greatest pandemics in the history of humanity: the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking about the measures taken by the Chinese government to contain the epidemic of COVID-19, stating that the Chinese president had shown the type of “political leadership” that is expected from countries facing a public health crisis of such magnitude. And, while highlighting China’s commitment to multilateralism and peace, also said: “In fact, they (the Chinese) are protecting the rest of the world.” Trump’s reaction was soon to come and, in its wake, that of the new Brazilian extreme right-wing movement.

Since the USSR’s dismantling, there was a belief that the liberal democratic model would inevitably expand across the world under the patronage and hegemony of the United States. This scenario was challenging due to three factors: the unexpected crisis of democracies in the 21st century; the emergence of communism renewed by China and adapted for competition in the global market; and, finally, the return of neo-Nazi movements in several western democracies.

Democracy, communism, and Nazism represent systems of thought and modes of societal political and economic organization. These three ideologies are moving towards meeting at a crossroads that does not resemble that of the past.

12 nov 20

Perspectivas chinesas sobre diplomacia e relações internacionais

No dia 12 de novembro de 2020, o Instituto de Relações Internacionais da UnB (IREL-UnB) organizou este webinar com o Embaixador da República Popular da China, Sr. Yang Wanming. Fui convidado para ser um dos debatedores ao lado da professora e amiga Isabela Nogueira (UFRJ). O convite partiu da professora Danielly Ramos (UnB). O webinar está disponível no YouTube e basta clicar na imagem acima para acessá-lo ou aqui. Nos meus comentários, fiz uma breve sistematização sobre o pressuposto para pensar as relações internacionais atuais e os princípios, o conceito e os métodos da diplomacia chinesa.

25 out 20

Conflito EUA e China na implementação do 5G no Brasil.

No dia 20 de outubro de 2020 dei uma entrevista para a Band News TV sobre o conflito EUA e China na questão do 5G. Segue o link para a entrevista: https://www.facebook.com/502267346597124/posts/1856930211130824/?vh=e&d=n

 

25 out 20

De qual China está se tratando?

China aprova controversa lei de segurança para Hong Kong

O conflito entre Estados Unidos (EUA) e China era inevitável diante das previsões de que a economia chinesa poderá superar a americana em poucas décadas, mas foi antecipado por diversos fatores. Um deles é menos visível. O Ocidente desenvolvido, democrático e capitalista, fracassou nas suas tentativas de conversão da China em um regime similar ao seu. O Reino Unido, por exemplo, apostava que o modelo econômico e político de Hong Kong iria seduzir e persuadir o povo chinês a querer replicá-lo em todo o país. A admissão da China na Organização Mundial do Comércio, em 2001, alimentou expectativas de que o compromisso jurídico chinês com as regras do comércio internacional influenciaria a sua economia e, por consequência, provocar transformações no seu sistema político. A atração de estudantes chineses para as universidades estadunidenses e britânicas não alcançou o objetivo de fazer esses jovens defenderem o Western way of life.

Já que o soft power não funcionou, os EUA começam a fazer uso do hard power. É ilustrativa a decisão de impor sanções a bancos e empresas que façam negócios com chineses envolvidos na nova Lei de Segurança Nacional de Hong Kong. Tal medida pode ressoar para o chinês como vestígios das Guerras do Ópio do século XIX, que resultaram na tomada do território de Hong Kong pelos britânicos e na abertura de vários portos ao comércio de ópio da Grã-Bretanha.

Designar o conflito entre EUA e China como “nova Guerra Fria” não ajuda a pensar o problema em sua singularidade e complexidade por se distinguir, em muitos aspectos, da Guerra Fria do pós-Segunda Guerra Mundial. Os EUA e a antiga União Soviética não tinham laços econômicos estreitos e, por essa razão, podiam jogar um jogo de soma-zero. Parte da estratégia estadunidense consistia em atrair a União Soviética para o seu modelo econômico baseado no livre mercado e, com isso, desmoronar o edifício ideológico legitimador do comunismo soviético. O contexto atual da relação entre EUA e China é diferente.

Há uma interdependência econômica entre os dois países e um intercâmbio intenso de seus nacionais, de modo que um jogo de soma-zero é prejudicial para ambos. Daí se entende o esforço de Donald Trump em promover a dissociação (decoupling) econômica dos EUA da China. Contudo, o modo como os EUA lidam com esta situação contém um paradoxo: de um lado, querem isolar a China do resto do mundo e, de outro, promovem seu autoisolamento.

25 out 20

“China: o Nordeste que deu certo”: pouco mais de quatro décadas depois.

Notícias - Revista Nordeste

Publicado originalmente na edição especial da revista Nordeste [1]

“China: o Nordeste que deu certo” é o título do livro de autoria de Heloneida Studart publicado em 1978. Trata-se de um registro da viagem que a autora fez à China no ano seguinte ao fim da Revolução Cultural (1966-1976) e ao falecimento de Mao Zedong (1893-1976). Darcy Ribeiro, mesmo reconhecendo um certo deslocamento (“Não sei o que faço neste livro”), apresenta a obra e com ela se identifica não só por conhecer a autora, uma “cearense arretada”, mas pelas associações e lições ali trazidas. “Heloneida nos demonstra que até o Nordeste poderia, em prazos razoáveis, se tivéssemos juízo, construir com suas mãos e os barros mais atoas deste mundo, não mais riqueza para os ricos – como produziu sempre – mas uma modesta, porém geral prosperidade chinesa”, escreveu Darcy Ribeiro.

Na leitura das crônicas da autora pude identificar ocorrências que também constatei nos três anos em que morei em Shanghai, de 2013 a 2015, tais como a presença do chá no cotidiano, as “copiosas refeições chinesas” e suas deliciosas verduras, a ausência de saladas cruas às refeições, a aguardente Moutai “servida em cálices minúsculos”, as maratonas de visitações quando se está seguindo um roteiro como integrante de uma delegação a convite dos chineses (“os chineses não se preocupam muito com a palavra repouso”[2]), os exercícios matinais dos idosos, os casais que “nem sequer se dão as mãos” [3], etc. Contudo, apesar da permanência no tempo destes elementos do cotidiano, a realidade econômica e social da China atual tem outras particularidades que a diferem daquela testemunhada pela autora.

Se hoje, diante das modernas cidades chinesas, não se duvida da capacidade do país de se tornar uma sociedade próspera, ter esta percepção no final da década de 1970 e início da década de 1980, como teve Heloneida Studart, exigiria de qualquer observador uma capacidade de interpretar a realidade chinesa para além das condições materiais que, naquela época, eram bem precárias. E é o que a autora fez ao reconhecer o principal recurso da China: o seu povo. Em certo momento, observando a austeridade com que o chinês estava acostumado a entregar-se, escreveu: “Aqui, só vale o que as pessoas têm por dentro” [4]. Tal austeridade, que se traduzia em simplicidade na ação e no pensamento, poderia ser encarada como obstáculo para o desenvolvimento, mas foi o ponto de partida e o meio para uma longa caminhada de superação da extrema pobreza naquele país.

“Vejo um engenheiro diante de um computador. O que me espanta é o fato dele estar sentado num tamborete. Não de acrílico ou alguma matéria charmosa, modelado sob um design funcional. Trata-se de um tamborete de humilde madeira, rústico e lanhado, como tantos que se encontram no interior do Ceará, irmão de vários existentes na bodega do meu compadre Ricardo, no Iguape. Essa convivência do computador com o tamborete me espanta, principalmente, ao me lembrar que, em meu país, qualquer pequena agência bancária humilha com seus mármores e painéis murais os suntuosos palácios da Europa.

Fan (Iana) me olha severamente: ‘Aqui, não desperdiçamos nada’.

Eu teria oportunidade de verificar essa austeridade em todas as grandes – e pequenas – cidades da China que visitei. Não é apenas porque eles são pobres. Já vi, em casebres brasileiros, liquidificadores cromados para serem pagos em 50 prestações, fazendo o orgulho de famílias que não vacinam suas crianças.” [5]

As semelhanças entre a China que a autora conheceu e o Nordeste brasileiro daquele tempo deviam-se à proximidade de seus estágios de desenvolvimento econômico e social, das condições de vida marcada pela pobreza, do singelo trato das pessoas, da consideração com a sabedoria popular.[6]