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China`s rise over the past half-century was based in part on the hard work of its people, fluctuations in the market economy, and strong governance. Today, China`s GDP per capita, with a population of nearly 1.4 billion, exceeds that of at least one EU member state, and its total GDP, calculated in purchasing power parity, surpassed that of the United States for the first time at the end of 2016. China has become an economic giant, but it is still treated as a development economy under international agreements signed 15 years ago. With the evolution of economic status, there are exceptions to world trade and a number of financial rules that govern its activities. Today, it is China`s economic stature, not its direct challenge to the world order – or even its regional tricks – that has attracted the attention of Western societies. China is not ready to compete with the United States monetaryly or financially. Indeed, the interrupted transition to a market economy and the current inability to lift capital controls prevent the renminbi from becoming an international reserve currency, like the US dollar or the euro. The problem of the Chinese currency is perhaps its most hidden paradox. While the world has been upset by China`s exceptional foreign exchange reserves, the management of its own currency remains tied to the dollar and, in its current political economy, it cannot afford free capital markets. China can be a passenger that benefits from the current global financial architecture, or it can influence its partners with its financial resources, but if it is not able to lift its capital controls, it cannot become the leader of a global financial architecture based on the free movement of capital. During the COP21 negotiations, the EU`s negotiating position, which encouraged ambitious commitments on carbon caps, was undermined by both US and Chinese opposition to legally binding agreements. An open rejection of the deal by the Trump administration would be even more destructive.

If this is the case, China will be able to claim moral superiority over the United States, although in practice it has renounced the implementation of the agreement. Relying on the idea of a mercantilist China that will choose and choose the topics it is looking at, it is worth asking why it finally signed the COP 21 agreement. Indeed, China`s energy and environmental policy is hardly bound by international commitments. They are more closely linked to the objectives of self-sufficiency and the achievement of a diversified energy mix. On the national territory, however, the COP 21 agreement was aimed at those who fear that the government will not address its national smog problem, also known as “airpocalypse”. It is thanks to the United States that the Obama administration has introduced verifiable emission reduction targets into national legislation. . .

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