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Time to launch globalization 2.0

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

01-14-2017 11:11 BJT

BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- With Britons voting to leave the European Union and Donald Trump elected as the next U.S. president, a rising tide of protectionism seems to be sweeping the West.

However, the shift to inward-looking politics and economies should not be seen as a prelude to the end of globalization, but a signal calling for an updated version of this great trend -- globalization 2.0.

It is undeniable that current version of globalization, amid its massive achievements over the past decades, has some holes. Otherwise, 2016 would not have been marked by those "black swan" events, which were seen as the outcome of the outbursts of angry and disappointed people.

A growing wealth gap worldwide is a vital flaw. As capital plays an increasingly important role, the rich are becoming richer and the poor even poorer. Massive wealth accumulation has been achieved on the basis of one's possession of assets, rather than one's diligence or intelligence, which makes the world a less fair place.

A highly integrated world also brings challenges to racial issues. As trans-border migration has become relatively easier and more frequent, greeting a new neighbor of a different ethnicity or a new colleague of a different religion is no longer a rarity. It may not be a problem when the economy is good, but one cannot help asking, "Who moved my cheese," with the finger inevitably pointed at newcomers.

However, facing an "imperfect" globalization, closing doors has never been and will not be a workable answer. Not even close.

For the United States, Trump's vow to build a massive border wall and make Mexico pay for it will only exacerbate the country's immigration woes.

For Britain, even before activating Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the island country has already witnessed a slump in its currency, with London seriously questioned for its status as an international financial center.

In other parts of Europe, where anti-globalization has gained momentum, voices of rejection have also been heard. In France, a ban last summer on the "burkini" swimsuit has been adopted in around 30 towns, but later sparked heated public debate and was then overturned in court.

To make globalization adapt to present circumstances, the world needs to launch its version 2.0.

The new version should have a fairer distribution model, with more developing countries involved in and benefiting from it. Wealth polarization, a tendency endangering world stability and development, needs to be addressed properly.

Integration, rather than separation, should continue to be the main trend. Only by more effectively and organically incorporating those of different backgrounds can the world move forward at a sound pace. A more inclusive policy on immigration should be considered, with thoroughly deliberated guidelines and more patience.

Globalization has not become a "dream model" yet. But it can be, with the joint efforts of all.

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