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ThinkIN China BEIJING: 21. 02. 2012, China and the global governance” by Professor Pang Zhongying



On 21st February 2012—the Chinese Dragon year, the first lecture of the ThinkIN China was given by Professor Pang Zhongying, the professor at the School of International Studies of Renmin University, as well as the director of the Center for the Study of Global Governance, on the topic of China’s role in the global governance. 


First of all, Professor Pang (left photo) has pointed out the different understandings of the concepts of governance and government between Chinese and Westerners. The Western idea of governance is resisted by Chinese students, who always confuse about the difference of governance and government which is embraced in the West. For Chinese, they are the same. Consequently, the global governance popular in the Chinese academia is quite distinctive.

Then the professor talked about the issue of power in the global governance. The existing international governance is not so called “the global government”, but is governed by a group of big powers, such as US, Europe and some emerging countries, like China. The hegemony of US had been prevailing over the world before, such as the establishment of IMF and its super power in the global economy. But nowadays more and more players are participating in the global governance, which doesn’t mean more chaos or more disorders for Chinese and China should adapt its foreign policy adhering to the global governance.

Viewed from Chairman Mao’s “no diplomacy” as a weak country to Deng Xiaoping’s “Tao Guang Yang Hui” (such as non-interference, not-allying with others militarily, not-taking the lead), China’s diplomacy has been transformed dramatically. In the near past, China was just a participant in the global governance; but until now China’s role has been redefined by US as a stakeholder. China is quite willing to integrate into the world and active in grasping and sharing the leadership of the global governance with US, Europe and other big powers. Professor Pang came up with a very interesting question of the future role of China playing in the world, a reformist or revisionist or even a leader.

However, given the failure of Chinese performance in the world, such as the failure of the Chinese overseas investment, China has to play by rules which has been set by the West and taken advantage of by the rule-makers to govern the other countries, for example, China. At present, China is at a disadvantage in the global governance. So China is striving to influence and make the rules that can govern the world. During the interaction between China and the western powers, some principles and rules China strictly complies with have already been changed, such as the non-intervention principle. China has no intervention tradition and limited related histories, so this principle has been respected by China from the outset. But it has been altered by some exceptions. And it give rise to an open question: is China an emerging intervention force or not.

From Professor Pang’s view, China is learning from the other countries’ experiences of the global governance and trying hard to build its advantage in the global governance.

At last, it is the Q&A session. Professor Pang’s speech has spurred hot debates among the audience and lecturer on the future role of China in the global governance and the contribution to the world. 

This article is written by Jiang Wei (Ruby), Master Candidate, School of International Studies, Renmin University of China. Email:

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