Two Sessions Through an Foreign Eye: Jean-Guy Carrier: Sino-US competition will always exist, but cooperation is absolutely necessary
10 Mar 2022



The national "Two Sessions" for 2022 are ongoing in Beijing. The Shenzhen TV created a special program Two Sessions Through an Foreign Eye, inviting internationally influential figures to comment on China's “Two Sessions” from their perspectives.


Recently, Mr. Jean-Guy Carrier, Executive Chairman of the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce and former Secretary General of International Chamber of Commerce, was in for an interview with Zhu Endi, reporter of Shenzhen TV based in Beijing. The transcript of the interview is as follows,


Zhu: Our Foreign Minister Wang Yi is holding the annual press conference right now. He mentioned before that it is cooperation that represents the mainstream of the China-US relations. To define the relationship as competition is oversimplification. So how do you think of this?


Carrier: I think it's very true because I fervently believe that the world needs more Chinese culture. By that I mean the Chinese way of looking at daily life, and how you deal with living and with developing your economy and so forth, based more on cooperation than on trying to undermine each other or trying to throw tariffs and sanctions at each other. I think all of us in the world will benefit from more of that sort of attitude, being influential in the world. So in that sense, the notion of competition is always going to be there, but I think cooperation is absolutely necessary.


Voiceover: Carrier is currently in Switzerland. He observed that when the people of the European continent are worried about a war, China is discussing practical problems faced by the mankind, such as economic development and coping with climate change. Such a sharp contrast made him think.


When I follow what Premier Li Keqiang has said and what the People's Congress is discussing, it's such as striking contrast. Because they are talking about vital things for the entire planet like climate change, reducing inequality, the Belt and Road Initiative, and fair development and so forth. And the rest of us are obsessed with a regional war. It is such a striking contrast between that discussion and what is happening here in Europe. Again, it just emphasizes for me the importance of China in the world, and to hear what is being said and what people are thinking in China.


Zhu: China has outlined its plan to stabilize domestic economy in this crucial year. So what does it mean to China and to the global economy?


Carrier: I think China is becoming an engine for the economy. So we can see that with Covid-19 and all the other kinds of pressures that have been exerted around the world on trade, on investment, on flows within countries etc,. It is perfectly normal for government of China to say we have to pay more attention to our domestic market in this crisis situation. And you know frankly, for the rest of the world, this is also very important.


Voiceover: Carrier analyzed that it is realistic and practical for China to set its economic growth target at around 5.5 percent this year given the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainties of global trade and investment.


I think there are very obvious reasons. First of all, every economy has suffered because of the Covid-pandemic. China is not immune from that. Also there have been so many disruptions in terms of global trade and investment. Again, everyone suffers from that. So what I find encouraging in the government’s target is I think it is realistic, (which) means to set too high a target at this point would be to try fooling everyone, (making them) thinking the world is in better shape than it is at this moment. 


Zhu: I noticed that you said the target is realistic and practical. In order to achieve this target, what does China need to do?


Carrier: What we are all hoping for is that China will reengage with international community. (It will) in fact promote more trade and investment in the world. We see good signs of this. Chinese company is building the biggest automobile electric battery production facility in Germany. So there are encouraging signs of that sort that Chinese companies are continuing to engage in the world, to invest in the world and to work with business people around the world. And I think that is the key to Chinese development.