China's Xi Jinping defends globalisation, warns against a trade war
Jan 18 2017 by Desiree Burns
Chinese President Xi Jinping has defended globalisation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
China's president launched a robust defence of globalisation and free trade on Tuesday, drawing a line between himself and Donald Trump just three days before the U.S. president-elect's inaugural address in Washington.
This year the World Economic Forum plays out against the backdrop of a rise of populism that has manifested most prominently in Donald Trump's election win and the Brexit vote.
It was the first time a Chinese head of state has appeared at the annual meeting of political and financial powerhouses, and the speech was one that would have been "unthinkable" from former Chinese leaders, The Guardian reports.
Moynihan, who had lunch with Xi, reported the Chinese president is "very much concerned that there will be a retraction from trade, and the ability of trade to help the world grow, and the ability rebalance the imbalances in economies".
Xi's pep talk was in stark contrast to the deep criticism of the Davos globalization agenda, and the self-questioning evident at the forum itself.
Facing a more protectionist, inward-looking Donald Trump administration and a disruptive British exit from the European Union, Xi has been offering assurances that the world's largest trading nation will defend the structures that have fostered globalization and economic growth.
Likening protectionism to "locking oneself in a dark room" to protect from danger, but at the same time depriving the room of "light and air", he cautioned other countries against pursuing their own interests at the expense of others.
Mr Xi said China was committed to further opening up its economy.
Political and business leaders are heading to Davos. "Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo", Trump said in his speech accepting the Republican nomination past year. According to the International Monetary Fund, China contributed 39% to world economic growth in 2016, an increase of 14.2 percentage points from 2015. "Nobody would be a victor in a trade war", he said. At this time a year ago, global markets were reeling from turmoil on China's equity and currency markets. Indeed, the theme of this year's meeting is "Responsive and Responsible Leadership".
That conflicts with what foreign companies already in China think. Last year, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said more than three-quarters of its members in a survey felt that foreign businesses were less welcome than before in China because of unfair regulations, unclear laws, and Chinese protectionism.
He also said globalization should not be blamed for the world's woes.
The Chinese leader said that the migrant crisis and other problems were not the fault of globalization, but that other factors had contributed to their escalation.