Xi to ad­dress Davos fo­rum

Pres­i­dent to pay state visit to Switzer­land, hold meet­ings with UN

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Yang Sheng and Chen Qingqing

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.

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