Former WB chief Zoellick says U.S. "self-deceptive diplomacy" towards China dangerous

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-05 23:42:01|Editor: yan
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The assumption that China is only a disrupter within the international system is dangerous in U.S. diplomacy, former World Bank President Robert Zoellick has said.

Those who assume that China is only a disrupter "are misleading themselves, and self-deception is dangerous in diplomacy," Zoellick said in a keynote speech Wednesday at the annual gala of the U.S.-China Business Council, which represents more than 200 U.S. companies that do business with China.

China is the second largest contributor of the United Nations (UN) and UN peacekeeping missions, and it has deployed more peacekeepers than all the other five permanent Security Council members combined, said Zoellick, who also served as U.S. trade representative and deputy secretary of state.

China cut its global current account surplus from about 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to around zero, which means its demand has "fueled worldwide expansion," he said, noting that China is the largest contributor to global growth.

"During the global financial crisis, China had the largest and quickest stimulus to counteract what could have been another Depression," Zoellick said.

"Many of these steps were in China's self-interest, but they were helpful to others around the world, too," he said. "That's what effective economy integration has accomplished."

Zoellick, who led the bank from 2007-2012, recalled that China "cooperated closely" with the multilateral institution during his term. "It made early repayments and contributions to the bank's International Development Association, which funds the poorest countries," he said.

China has also supported the World Bank's initiatives, ranging from support for the rule of law and fighting corruption to open data systems and plans for climate change, Zoellick said.

On U.S.-China relations, Zoellick said toughness alone fails as policy if unconnected to objectives.

"A slide into Sino-American conflict -- whether intentionally or by accident -- would lead to incalculable costs and dangers," he warned.