Economic Alliances Are Better Than Defense Alliances, Analyst Says

Instead of forging security and defense alliances, nations should develop economic ones, the President of the Center for China and Globalization said at the SALT iConnections conference in Singapore in mid-November.

Relationships based on defense would make the world “more dangerous,” said Henry Wang, and also increase the chance for a slide toward deglobalization, which would restrict global economic development.

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Wang suggested that the US, for instance, could “rejoin” the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“It was a pity to see the U.S. pulling out of the [CPTPP, which] . . . set higher standards for global trade, including the digital economy, and also the liberalization of trade and facilitation of investments,” Wang said.

Former President Donald Trump pulled out of the pact, one of the world’s biggest trade blocs, in 2017.

Security alliances such as the AUKUS, Five Eyes, and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue should be reduced, Wang said, and economic alliances increased.

“I hope that the U.S. now has settled this midterm, we can get towards economic, global alliances rather than have a lot of security, military, defense alliances which will make us more and more dangerous,” Wang said.

The globalization of trade has been beneficial, said Nicolas Aguzin, Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong stock exchange HKEX, agreeing with Wang. “It had kept prices very low around the world in a lot of areas; we had productivity,” he said at the conference, adding that as new powers emerge, tensions may ensue.

“Asia…[represents] about half of the output of the world. I mean you’re going to have some rocky moments, because it’s a big shift…of power and influence from West to East.”