Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Spain 'goes nuclear' on Catalonia

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says Trump 'channels' racism

Read more

THE DEBATE

Moment of truth: Spain sets in motion direct rule over Catalonia

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Must it come down? Market analysts bracing for correction

Read more

FOCUS

Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto to vote on autonomy

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

France considers tough new laws to crack down on sexual harassment

Read more

ENCORE!

Inside the new Yves Saint Laurent museum in Morocco

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

California: When your home is reduced to ashes

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

#balancetonporc: Sexual harassment and gender inequality in France

Read more

Business

Chinese leader warns against trade wars in dig at Trump at Davos

© Fabrice Coffrini, AFP | Xi Jinping is the first Chinese head of state to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-01-17

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a vigorous defence of globalisation and free trade in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, which underscored Beijing's desire to play a greater global role as the US turns inward.

Likening protectionism to "locking oneself in a dark room" to protect from danger, but at the same time depriving the room of "light and air", he cautioned other countries against pursuing their own interests at the expense of others.

Xi did not mention Donald Trump in his speech of nearly an hour but many of the messages he sent seemed directed at the US president-elect, who campaigned for the White House on pledges to protect US industries from foreign competition and levy new tariffs on goods from China and Mexico.

"No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war," Xi told the forum in the Swiss Alps.

He said economic globalisation has become a "Pandora's Box" for many, but that it was not the cause of many global problems. He added that international financial crises were caused by the excessive pursuit of profits, not globalisation.

Xi's appearance, a first for a Chinese leader at the annual meeting of political leaders, CEOs and bankers in Davos, came as doubts emerge about whether the United States will remain a force for multilateral cooperation on issues like trade and climate change.

Europe, meanwhile, is pre-occupied with its own troubles, from Brexit and militant attacks to the string of elections this year in which anti-globalisation populists could score gains.

This has left a vacuum that China seems eager to fill.

"It is no coincidence that Xi chose this year to make the trip up the magic mountain," said Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, a US-based political risk consultancy.

More than half a dozen senior Chinese government figures are in Davos this week, far more than in past years. And a large number of sessions are focused on Asia, including one entitled "Asia Takes the Lead".

WEF founder Klaus Schwab said Xi's presence was a sign of the shift from a uni-polar world dominated by the United States to a more multi-polar system in which rising powers like China will have to step up and play a bigger role.

"In a world marked by great uncertainty and volatility the world is looking to China," Schwab said before Xi spoke.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2017-01-17

  • WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

    China’s Xi headlines Davos forum as US makes transition

    Read more

  • BUSINESS DAILY

    Davos 2017: World Economic Forum wary of post-Brexit future

    Read more

  • BUSINESS DAILY

    Davos 2017: Business leaders confident despite 2016 turmoil

    Read more

COMMENT(S)