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Commentary: Multilateralism needs more champions amid rise of anti-globalization
From:Xinhua  |  2017-12-12 22:30

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by Xinhua writer Shi Xiaomeng

BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- As discussions on international trade rules are taking place in Argentina's capital city of Buenos Aires, countries need to seize the opportunity to send out a strong message of safeguarding the spirit of multilateralism against the recent rise of anti-globalization.

Buenos Aires is currently hosting the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference. At the meeting, many WTO member nations have reiterated their support for a multilateral trade system.

However, the organization that regulates international trade has come under fire from the United States, which has accused the WTO of losing its focus on trade negotiation and becoming a litigation-centered organization.

Earlier this year, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened that the United States would pull out of the WTO because the organization is hampering the United States' ability to compete.

Also, the administration pressed Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The United States' recent threats of breaking international consensus on trade will increase the risk of trade frictions or even trade wars among nations.

Moreover, the unilateral actions of the United States have added more uncertainties to the prospect of globalization.

Yet it's worth noting that the United States is not the only country that is embracing isolationism. Britain has decided to exit the European Union.

Whether it is "America First" or Brexit, "playing solo" is hurting the sound trend of globalization and regional integration, not to mention the spirit of multilateralism that would benefit all nations.

The core of global governance lies in common decisions made by all relevant parties in seeking solutions to global issues instead of the hegemony of a few countries.

A case in point: The G20 is a good example of the success of multilateralism. In recent years, this international economic forum has become an important international cooperation platform and has provided innovative and inclusive solutions to the world's economic problems.

The key to the G20's success is its inclusiveness and its spirit of sharing, and it can be regarded as a model of multilateralism.

Therefore, to achieve greater prosperity and build a community of shared future for mankind, the world needs to stay on the course of globalization and regional integration. In short, the spirit of multilateralism needs more champions to counter the rise of isolationism and protectionism.