CGTN’s Global South Voices exposes the vulnerability of “China’s overcapacity” hype

“There’s a lot of hype in certain countries, especially the U.S. and even certain Western countries about China’s so-called overcapacity,” said host Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman of Pakistan’s Senate Defense Committee on CGTN’s show Global South Voices. The fourth episode debunks the “China overcapacity” myth, revealing the protectionist mindset behind such accusations with guests from Malaysia, Pakistan, China and Norway joining the show.

Recently, U.S. politicians and media have sensationalized the concept of “overcapacity” in China, particularly focusing on the expansion of Chinese manufacturing in new sectors like electric vehicles (EVs), lithium-ion batteries, and solar panels. This narrative suggests that Western anxiety about their competitiveness in these industries is driving them to label China’s growing industries as overcapacity to hinder their progress.

Aqdas Afzal, associate professor of Economics at Habib University, Karachi, pointed out that it is the fear of China’s rise and the yearning for votes in the election year that drives the spreading of “China overcapacity” hype in the U.S.. “I think that there is concern that certain Western nations have about China’s stellar and exponential, amazing economic growth and how to make sense of that. And I think the second reason is political because this is an election year … So I think we cannot really dissociate or decouple what is going on in terms of the policy utterances that are coming from the U.S. and domestic politics in the U.S.”

Out of geopolitical concerns, the U.S. uses multiple means to suppress China’s growth, the CHIPS and Science Act being one of them. Chen Xi, founder of Harbor Overseas, believes that the U.S. should join the market competition in China and use the Chinese supply chain to collaborate, to provide a better option to getting to a green economy and adapt to climate change globally rather than fabricating excuses to hinder China’s development. A win-win situation could be achieved should the U.S. find the appropriate way to cooperate with China, and this would also benefit the whole world.

Koh King Kee, president of the Center of New Inclusive Asia praised China’s efforts in developing green technology and bringing tangible benefits to those underdeveloped regions around the world. He argued that actually the world needs China in these industries. China’s rise is an opportunity for the world. “We are from the Global South, and we welcome China producing (more) cheap goods.” He also warned that actually the real overcapacity now in the world is the U.S. debt and U.S. military. The U.S. cannot accept China’s rise as peers, because the U.S. was the sole superpower since the end of the Cold War. But China’s rise is unstoppable. This is the reality that the U.S. must accept.

In addition, Norwegian diplomat Erik Solheim said that Europe should not blindly follow the U.S. on every step, especially when it comes to China. “With the good will in Europe and in China, we can go a long way to make a better world together.” He also praised China for “bringing down prices” in developing countries in terms of using green technology.

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