"Since the end of Cold War, we've seen the process of globalisation being hijacked by the ideology of globalism, which meant that the United States and its Western allies led a drive to universalise their values and political system, and their economic system, and in some ways almost forced it upon many other countries. And I think that process is coming to an end", he said.
American globalism, Li argued, has been questioned both in the United States and in Europe, where people revolted against this trend after seeing how it benefited the rich and privileged while causing the middle class to collapse. Meanwhile, countries in Eastern Europe and Russia came out worse off after internalising these values.
"So the people want their national sovereignties back. Globalism is being questioned both externally and internally, and I think that era is coming to an end. If you characterise it as an 'American Empire', I guess that 'empire' is coming to an end", Li said.
China has been unique in that it embraced globalisation without accepting globalism or having globalist ideology enforced upon it, Li continued. Forty years since the start of market reforms, China remains one of the few — if not the only — emerging economies that has succeeded in this.
Russia and China Promoting Pluralism
According to Li, China and Russia should work together to create a safe environment for pluralism where different countries would have plenty of space to pursue their own paths.
"I think both Russia and China and many other countries, including many people in the US and Europe, have that outlook and objective in common. So they should work together to promote a world safe for pluralism. Different ideas, different systems of governance could be given the space and live and let live, and they can compete on their own merits", he said.
According to the prominent investor, China was more fortunate than Russia in this process since it was able to resist Western attempts to enforce its political and economic systems on others, meaning that the latter has "a lot more hard-learned lessons" to share with Beijing.
Belt and Road Project
The investor also told Sputnik that Beijing launched its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), pursuing its business goals, stressing that political dominance was never in the picture.
"China has no interest in political dominance anywhere and they’re not in the business of doing that. They want to gain economic benefits for their own country and their own people, obviously", he said.
Li argued that the project appeared to come from a basic concept that if you want to get rich you should build a road. Having accumulated a lot of capital, Beijing now wants to develop the countries connected to it economically using that model.
"The more prosperous they are, the more developments they can have, the more likely China will be able to sustain its own prosperity. So that’s the idea that is behind Belt and Road Initiative — to use China’s capital and know-how to further build our infrastructure, to promote interconnectedness economically", he went on.
Li added that trying to dominate the world was what westerners had been doing for hundreds of years, which makes them think others have the same goal. China, he argued, never even sought to dominate its neighbours politically, let alone far-off countries.
The United States, meanwhile, has been critical of what it sees as China preying on investment, despite the enthusiasm of some of its allies.
Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Eric Li and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.