Unleashed travel will boost trade

Travelers go through the immigration check upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing, January 8, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

China’s lifting of quarantine requirements on arrival should be welcomed by neighbors and trading partners. International travel and trade certainly do not guarantee world peace and growing prosperity, but they are both huge and necessary steps toward achieving and maintaining those goals.

Travel restrictions were certainly necessary to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus COVID-19. But due to the virus’s continuously diminishing ability in successive waves and the worldwide use of new vaccines and the concomitant booster shots developed to protect against it, the threat of the disease has been reduced to a level that would have been unimaginable three years ago.

However, in the current deteriorating state of relations between the West and China, even the most constructive measures are seized to be misrepresented and twisted to score cheap political points.

Any attempts to restrict the free movement of Chinese citizens and goods around the world in the coming year would certainly fit into that cynical and destructive category.

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The global economy needs to attract a new wave of Chinese trade and investment so that China can once again fulfill its major contributory role as the main engine driving such rising global prosperity and growth. she has achieved in the last twenty years, especially across. Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. The rapid growth in trade and the deepening of ties between Beijing and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states is a crucial development in that direction.

Likewise, in the context of the conflict in Ukraine and ongoing tensions between the United States and China, nothing is more important to world peace than to rapidly increase personal travel and interactions in broad areas of business and tourism to create a much more create positives for renewal. diplomatic discussions and interactions.

Major nations across Asia from Japan and the Republic of Korea to Vietnam and India have made it clear they see no future in subscribing to the Biden administration’s zero-sum contest across the Pacific between Washington and Beijing. . Neither does the Chinese government. The sooner a dangerous delusion is put to rest, the better.

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For developing world nations across Latin America and Africa, the need to attract a new wave of Chinese investment to jump-start their stalled and failing economies is more urgent than ever. Outside the think tanks in Washington and London, the whole world knows that China is not in the business of destabilizing governments and societies around the world in the spirited green of the ideology of false rights rhetoric. protect the person or spread democracy.

China has consistently proven itself to be a reliable, loyal and predictable partner ready to invest in and partner with countries around the world regardless of ideological differences or different forms of government. . In a world of nearly 8 billion people and well over 200 sovereign nation-states and independent political entities this is, indeed, the only realistic path to preserving peace and long-term conditions for global development and prosperity.

Once again, Beijing has taken a constructive, wise and exciting initiative to revive global trade and encourage renewed ties and understanding between people and their governments. Major nations and other national blocs should respond positively to this move. Instead of the destructive responses of nations to each other’s provocations, the world’s communities will enter 2023 anticipating a new escalating cycle of positive reactions that will help reduce hatred and tension and increase investment, understanding and tolerance.

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There are encouraging signs in various parts of the world that some long-standing leaders recognize the need for more long-term statesmanship instead of taking a big stand with cheap insults and demagogic accusations and lies on the international stage. But sweet words alone are not enough and China, like many other nations, has a lot of experience with empty words coming out of Washington leaders and politicians that are not backed up by the hard collateral of positive actions. A quick and positive response to China’s latest optimized pandemic protocol following the protracted COVID-19 health crisis would be a good place to start.

The views are not necessarily those of China Daily.

The author is a senior fellow at the American University in Moscow.

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