Xi to address Davos forum
President to pay state visit to Switzerland, hold meetings with UN
Chinese President Xi Jinping, as the first head of state of China to attend the Davos economic forum, will discuss the latest developments in the Chinese economy and introduce a more inclusive plan on globalization during the forum.
Xi will attend the 47th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday. It will be the first time a Chinese president will attend the summit, an influential political and economic gathering. Several Chinese premiers have attended the forum since 1992.
Xi’s presence in Davos shows China’s strong and firm support to economic globalization, Jin Canrong, associate dean of the Department of International
Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times. “It delivers a message that China treats the WEF as a very influential and important platform for international economic affairs,” Jin said.
Most countries can’t survive without globalization, so when the world’s biggest economy has an anti-globalization president-elect, the international community will surely turn their eyes to China, the secondlargest economy, Jin said.
“China opposes trade protectionism, and supports solutions to trade disputes with an open and inclusive attitude and a reciprocal spirit,” said China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong at an earlier press briefing.
President Xi will help all parties have in-depth understanding of China’s economic situation and prospects, as well as China’s experience and views on economic development, Li said.
Li stated that China expects Xi’s Davos trip to identify the deeper causes of sluggish world economic growth and find a solution, as well as reinforce confidence in global economic development.
Xi will deliver a speech at the opening ceremony of WEF, and hold discussions with WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab and guests from business, media and the academia.
At APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Peru in 2016, Xi already delivered a strong message in support of free trade and globalization when US President-elect Donald Trump announced he would scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
“Having heard China’s message, the international community expects China to introduce a more detailed plan in support of free trade and globalization, especially as protectionism and anti-globalization gains support in the West, Jin said.
Xi’s mission in Davos is to “reduce uncertainties” by injecting confidence and solidarity into the international business community, said Chen Xulong, an expert at the China Institute of International Studies.
The WEF is a symbol of economic globalization, but the recent globalization guided by neo-liberalism and Western norms has encountered serious problems and challenges, even in the most developed parts of the West, like the US and Europe, said Wang Yiwei, director of the Center for International Studies at Renmin University of China.
“In 2017, Europe will face many important events, such as France’s presidential election and Germany’s general election, and the influence of anti-globalization forces is rising in key EU states,” Wang said, adding that Xi will also express his gratitude to Switzerland and give confidence and encouragement to the European countries.
Representatives of some wellknown Chinese State-owned enterprises and private companies will accompany Xi to the summit, including Jack Ma, the richest businessman in the country and founder of Alibaba Group Holding, and Wang Jianlin, chairman and founder of Dalian Wanda Group.
The topics during the summit will include various aspects of the global economic growth as well as business revolution, including world-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence, the future of finance and the future of energy.
China has been working with European countries, among others, to address the challenges facing global development. China will continue to be a huge market supporting world economic growth, a hot destination attracting foreign investment and a contributor to the well-being of people around the world, reads an article bylined by Xi which was published in the local newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung in Switzerland on Friday.
Talks with Trump advisers
Xi will pay his first state visit to Switzerland from Sunday to Wednesday, at the invitation of the country’s Federal Council. While there, he will hold talks with Swiss Confederation President Doris Leuthard.
The two heads of state will witness the signing of several cooperation deals covering politics, free trade, and culture, according to Li.
Switzerland was the first European country to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China.
Xi will also go to Geneva and Lausanne, visiting the United Nations office in Geneva, the World Health Organization headquarters, and the International Olympic Committee headquarters.
Li said Xi will deliver a speech on establishing a “community of shared destiny” at the Palace of Nations and meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, their first meeting since the latter took office on January 1.
With regard to whether Xi will meet with the US delegation on the sidelines of the forum, Li said the Chinese side maintains a smooth communication channel with Trump’ s team and does not rule out the possibility, according to the Xinhua News Agency.