The coronavirus is a once-in-a-lifetime epidemic. The world needs strong global partnerships in times of trouble. Jeffrey Sachs, economist and University Professor at Columbia University, sits down with The China Current host James Chau to discuss the importance of international collaboration. Click here to watch the full video.
The world is now talking about 'decoupling'. While the U.S. is playing the 'blame game' against China, Sachs stressed that it is more than important to defend and protect multilateralism.
"When the US pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, it did so as one country alone, the other 192 United Nations member states stayed in the agreement. When the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, it was one country alone, the United States. The other countries wanted this to continue. When the United States attacked the World Trade Organization appellate body, it was one country, the United States that was doing this. So, my advice to all the rest of the world, and with China directly, is protect and support the multilateral system. Hope that the United States does so as well. React to unilateralism by emphasizing multilateralism, because this is the only solution. As a historian I think of the 1920s and 1930s as a time when nationalism became dominant and it led to global disaster. So, we really need to take the steps, no matter what the Trump administration ends up doing, for the rest of the world to protect multilateralism."
From the trade war to the COVID-19 outbreak, the two nations are, unfortunately, moving on a downward slope. Sachs said cooperation is the only key for countries to thrive.
"Some nationalists in the United States don't want success of other countries and they regard China as a threat. I just regard China as a successful country that has made its way from poverty, and has great talent and skills, and a lot to offer to the world. It's a big world and we need a successful China. We need successful all parts of the world for the world to work well. We need to find the way out of this risk of confrontation because it will not serve the world. If there is this rising tension between the number one and number two economies of the world, and especially when we're facing global crises like a pandemic, or environmental crises, we have to cooperate. It's the only sane thing to do. And therefore, I really hope we can find a way to lower the tension dramatically, not politicize what is not political. The virus is not political. It wasn't unleashed by anybody. It wasn't caused deliberately by anybody. It is a tragedy that we need to control together cooperatively, as fast as possible period."
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