Xi Jinping goes to Davos

Xu Qinduo China Plus Updated: 2017-02-23 18:05:22
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Xi Jinping goes to Davos

The signals can't be clearer from the two most important countries about the future of the world: China stresses a globalized community while the US turns inward to Make America Great again.

Not surprisingly, we have Xi Jinping for the first time joining the World Economic Forum in Davos while President-elect Donald Trump decided against sending any representative to the event.

It seems that President Xi is fully aware of the changes around the world, such as the rise of protectionism, and most importantly, prepared to deal with the concerns of the common folks.

Writing for a local newspaper, he said "We meet at a time of angst about the prospects of the world economy, growing backlash against economic globalization, and rising populism and trade protectionism. There is a stronger call for revisiting and changing the current paths of development, systems of wealth distribution and models of governance."

The message here echoes the warning he made at the G20 summit back in September in Hangzhou that "Economic openness brings progress and isolation leads to backwardness."  The warning is even more urgent given Donald Trump's known dislike of regional free trade agreement, such as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The schedule of Xi Jinping's Switzerland tour also reveals China's commitment to the UN as well as the international institutions. Besides Davos meetings, Xi is also visiting UN agencies and international organizations in Geneva and Lausanne during his stay.

For example, among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China provides the largest contingents of peacekeepers for UN peacekeeping operations.

As the new US presidency offers little predictability and certainty except for the American First principle, there's expectation that China could play a leadership role against the populist and anti-globalization trend, which is believed to be behind the Brexit vote and the election of Trump.

Professor Krause Schwab, the founder of Davos, said at a press conference last week that he expected Xi to explain how China intends to assume the role of a responsible and receptive leader in world affairs.

The fact is China has been playing a role of stabilizer and defender of the international order. China has been pushing for a regional trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region. Its Belt and Road Initiative is bringing investment and trade to countries ranging from central Asia, South east Asia, to East Africa and Europe. China also demonstrated a strong sense of leadership in the fight against Climate Change by signing up to the Paris Agreement.  

The latest figures show that China has contributed more than 30% to global economic growth, or some 1.2% percentage points, while the US contribution stands at 0.3%. Therefore, we may say that, as it continues with a stable economic growth, China is already in the driver's seat for global economic expansion.

The theme of the 2017 World Economic Forum is "responsible leadership." While US President-elect Donald Trump and his team skip Davos, President Xi's presence is the best example of what global leadership is.

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Lin Shaowen A radio person, Mr. Lin Shaowen is strongly interested in international relations and Chinese politics. As China is quite often misunderstood in the rest of the world, he feels the need to better present the true picture of the country, the policies and meanings. So he talks a lot and is often seen debating. Then friends find a critical Lin Shaowen criticizing and criticized. Xu Qinduo Xu Qinduo is CRI's former chief correspondent to Washington DC, the United States. He works as the producer, host and commentator for TODAY, a flagship talk show on current affairs. Mr. Xu contributes regularly to English-language newspapers including Shenzhen Daily and Global Times as well as Chinese-language radio and TV services. Liu Yan Liu Yan is a best-selling author specializing in English learning and popular culture. Among his published works are English - The Real Deal (1&2) and Hold On, Sit Tight, Let's Enjoy This Cinematic Ride Together. He is also a long-time columnist for such esteemed magazines as English Language Learning and JoyRide English. In addition, Liu Yan is a commentator on social and cultural issues. He wants people to think of him as a trusted friend who can inform, educate and entertain all at the same time. Luo Yu "Luo Yu is a freelance writer, CRI's former co-host of RoundTable, discussing the hottest social issues in China. He was also former producer and host of Biz Buzz, a weekly business program which includes exclusive interviews with global business and political leaders. Former guests include former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Nobel Laureate in Economics Pro. Thomas Sargent. Luo Yu holds a MSc. Finance and Investment, a MSc. Management Science and Operational Research, a BSc in Biology and a BBA in Business Administration. Luo Yu loves exploring new opportunities. His boldest move might be when he switched from engineering to broadcasting. It’s a move he considers to be the wisest decision he's ever made. Sina Weibo: @CRI罗煜 Email: louie23@126.com "