World Economic Forum: Xi Jinping defends free trade, criticises 'protectionist' policies
In an apparent dig at US President-elect Donald Trump, the Chinese leader said the problems troubling the world were not caused by economic globalisation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday pitched for a larger role for Beijing in terms of economic globalisation and criticized United States President-elect Donald Trump, without naming him, for his “protectionist stand” on policies. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, a first for a Chinese leader, Xi said China would keep its borders open and stressed that a trade war would have no winners.
“The problems troubling the world are not caused by economic globalisation. Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean you cannot escape from,” he said. He also called on all nations to support the 2015 Paris climate change accord.
Xi countered Donald Trump’s campaign promise to protect US firms from unfair competition and plans to impose restrictions on goods from China and Mexico. “Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. Wind and rain may be kept outside, but also light and air,” Xi said. His statements follow a standoff with Trump, whose phone conversation with the Taiwanese leader was perceived as against the “One-China policy”.
After his meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden, Xi said a stable and cooperative relationship between Beijing and Washington was in global interest. “If the Chinese really believe in globalism, they have to reach now towards us and allow us to create this symmetry, because the path to globalism in the world is through the American worker and the American middle class,” Trump transition advisor Anthony Scaramucci told AFP.
Stakeholders, however, have criticised curbs imposed by Beijing on foreign investments, contradicting Xi’s claims about China’s “wide economy”, Reuters reported.