China’s premier, Xi Jinping, has delivered a strong defence of globalisation, serving notice to Donald Trump that Beijing will seek to usurp America’s traditional role as the champion of free trade and open markets.
Xi used an hour-long address to the World Economic Forum (WEF) to take a number of sideswipes at the US president-elect, attacking Trump’s protectionist views without mentioning him by name.
In the first speech by a Chinese president at the annual Davos meeting of global political and business leaders, Xi said China would keep its borders open, stressed that there would be no winners from a trade war, and urged that all countries continued to support the 2015 Paris climate change accord.
With Trump preparing for Friday’s inauguration in Washington, Xi used the opportunity to make clear that China was keen to take a bigger role on the global stage if the US lapsed into isolationism.
“Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room,” he said. “Wind and rain may be kept outside, but so is light and air.”
Trump campaigned on a strongly protectionist platform, pledging to protect US firms from unfair overseas competition and threatening tariffs on goods from China and Mexico.
via The Guardian