“Imitated by many, surpassed by none.” Slogans like this are always remarkable. In this constantly changing world, being overtaken is always unavoidable. There are countless examples that demonstrate the falls of internationally famous brands, and the similar declines of once dominant countries are also very common.
In the end, the recent G20 Finance Ministers and Central Banks Governor Meetings did not bring forward any uplifting news. The International Monetary Fund still had not achieved any progress after this summit in terms of its quota and vote power reforms that were proposed as early as 2010. The meeting only brought up more disappointment from various countries.
The UK Financial Times columnist was revealed to be very pessimistic: “National, regional, and global reforms are needed to accelerate and reduce instability,” or the global economy will face unsustainable issues.
Indeed, establishing the direction of reform is not as difficult as motivating world leaders' determination for it.
America, as the leader, has not displayed a strong will for reform; instead it appears to be an irresponsible superpower. Almost all past reforms were products of the spreading terror of the financial crisis, including the 2008 G20 summit and the 2010 IMF quota reform.
What's more terrifying is that this issue is “delayed.” The G20 finance ministers and the central banks’ presidents convened several times and came up with resolutions to pressure the United States to find a “Plan B,” but every time the U.S. Congress failed to authorize the reforms.
America’s clever strategy to “delay” slows down the rise of China, India and other emerging economies, which all have direct impacts on the modern international economic system. Even if America approves the measures of the IMF quota reform, it will sacrifice the voting shares of small European countries to fulfill the requests of emerging economies, and its veto power will remain unshaken.
It is no longer only the emerging economies that have complaints. Lots of Europeans think that America is abusing its privilege in the financial and monetary market, which aggravates the difficulties of Europe’s economy to some degree. A few days ago, Australian mainstream media commented on America’s fault: “Thanks to the pettiness and petulance of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. has been overtaken. Beijing 1, Washington 0.”
The hope of the international community has been shattered by the rejection from the U.S. Congress. But the American-style “delay” will not save its crown as a world leader; because of the compliance to tradition, America is blocking its own path and will eventually be surpassed.
America should know that as other economies expand, a single large international economic system is no longer applicable. It is possible that the global economic management system is also entering a phase where it will strive for more balance of power and win-win situations, but at the same time it will be repairing the complex operation of the “post-America era.”
American politicians have already displayed their sour jealousies, showing skepticism toward the veto power created by new economic systems, but this projecting thinking is not beneficial at all for expanding America’s own influence. They should understand this. The popularity of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank can also be considered an opposition to America’s “one-voice rules system.”
America needs to self-examine as soon as possible; otherwise, being overtaken is just a matter of time, and it might even come sooner than expected.