New business, new rules
“A new Beijing Consensus is emerging with new attitudes to politics, development and the global balance of power.”
That’s the argument of Jose Ramos, the former China Bureau chief of US magazine Time. He believes that China’s development is distinct from that of other emerging global markets and that the Chinese way of development is winning admirers and emulators across the globe. In other words, it is changing the way that business is done.
The Beijing Consensus emphasizes partnership at all levels; between Chinese companies and their counterparts in the outside world; between private, public and NGO sectors working with and within China and at central regional and local level. It also takes the long view, stressing sustainability not only in its usual ‘green’ context, but also in the more general sense of building long term relationships in which business can be conducted in a stable international environment.
Speaking at Harvard University in November 2003, China’s premier Wen Jiabao put it like this:
“China must more fully and more consciously depend on our own structural innovation, on constantly expanding the domestic market, on converting the huge savings of our citizens into investment, and on improving the quality of the population and scientific and technological progress to solve the problems of resources and the environment. This is the essence of China's relative peaceful rise and development".
In fact, the phrase “peaceful rise” is being used as a shorthand for China’s international diplomacy under the leadership of President Hu Jintao. Its precepts envision a China that cooperates with its neighbours in Asia and the world on environmental, health, resource and energy matters, and which coordinates its own rapid economic growth with the needs of its neighbors and partners. China seeks to become interdependent internationally, rather than rising in competition with other nations.
This is not simply an aspiration or even a policy. It informs the whole structure of the relationships that China wishes to build internationally, a network which stretches from the largest multinational to the smallest charity or NGO.
Partnership is central to the ethos and working methods of CMC. We believe that very little can be achieved without it and that the partnerships we have helped to build and sustain offer a model for others wishing to engage with China in pursuit of goals and opportunities.