DAVOS, Switzerland - Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a defense of globalization at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, delivering a strong critique of the protectionist movement endorsed by Western leaders such as President-elect Donald Trump.
"No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war," Xi said, to applause from the international audience of corporate leaders, heads of state and other dignitaries.
"It is true that economic globalization has created new problems, but this is no justification to write off economic globalization altogether," Xi said, speaking through a translator. "We must remain committed to developing free trade and investment, promoting liberalization and facilitation through opening up, and saying no to protectionism."
For observers in Washington, Xi's appearance in Davos suggested a claim to the kind of international economic stewardship that Trump has rejected.
"If we look back five years from now, 10 years from now, you could say this was a turning point, at which China did move up in the direction of asserting the kind of global leadership role that the U.S. has had for about a century, and might willfully be abdicating," said Fred Bergsten, the former director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Trump, who will be inaugurated as president in Washington on Friday, has argued that U.S interests must come first in U.S. foreign policy.
"Our plan will put America first. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo," Trump said in his speech accepting the Republican nomination last year.
Xi offered what might have been a criticism of that point of view, though without mentioning Trump by name. Countries, he said, "should view their own interests in their broader context, and refrain from pursuing their own interests at the expense of others."
China was one of Trump's chief antagonists on the stump, and the New York businessman has threatened tariffs of as much as 45 percent on goods imported from China.Read More...
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