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China's global clout not to diminish but challenges remain: experts

Updated: 2016-03-10 05:50
NAIROBI -- China will remain a formidable player in an increasingly multipolar world but must as well contend with several domestic and global challenges that require urgent attention, Kenyan experts told Xinhua during separate interviews this week.

Professor Peter Kagwanja, the CEO of a Nairobi-based pan-African think tank, Africa Policy Institute disavowed pessimists who opined that China's economic and diplomatic clout could be experiencing a slump as its economy slows down.

"Despite economic slowdown in recent months, China's position in the world is growing stronger," Kagwanja said.

His sentiments were echoed by Professor David Kikaya, a Nairobi-based diplomacy scholar who stated that China's economic, military and diplomatic clout will not diminish in the near future.

"China has always been an influential player in global affairs since the end of world war two. Its influence in the UN Security Council is significant," Kikaya intoned, adding that China's smart power has been felt in Africa.

Experts also noted that strategic partnerships that China has forged with developing countries will enhance its diplomatic clout at the global stage.

Anita Kiamba, a diplomacy scholar at the University of Nairobi said that developing countries even look up to China to lead reforms in regimes that require equality, like the international trading regime.

However, experts noted that China must contend with a host of domestic and global challenges that could slow down its journey to economic prosperity, social renewal and ecological civilization.

Kikaya said that over dependence on exports could undermine future economic growth in China.

He proposed that Beijing consider establishing processing plants in Africa where there is a huge market for its manufactured goods.

Michael Munyao, the Chairman of the Kenyan Chapter of the Nairobi based China-Africa Friendship Association stated that a host of challenges will accompany China's economic renaissance.

"China must respond to the pending exhaustion of the unlimited labor supply, global trade imbalances, ability for its firms to innovate and rising inequalities," said Munyao.

He stressed that less reliance on hydrocarbons is an imperative to make the Chinese economy more resilient and globally competitive.

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