Davos [Switzerland]: Chinese President Xi Jinping asserted that Beijing is committed to fulfilling its international responsibilities and contributing to addressing pressing global challenges, however, adding that many problems needling the globe are not caused by economic globalization.
Delivering a defence of globalization to business, government and civil society leaders in the opening plenary session of the 47th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Xi emphasised on the importance of economic growth and creating jobs in the face of the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“There is no point in blaming economic globalization for the world’s problems, as that is not the case and will not help with solving the problems,” he said.
However, he added a warning saying, “We should recognize that economic globalization is a double-edged sword. The pitfalls of economic globalization have been laid bare and we need to take these seriously.”
Xi recalled that China had at first doubted the wisdom of joining the World Trade Organization, but had bravely gone ahead with membership and determined that it was the right strategic choice. “If one is always afraid of the bracing storm, one will get drowned in the ocean sooner or later,” he said.
Xi called for efforts to rebalance economic globalization so that all people share in its benefits. This will require more effective international cooperation and new models of global governance, bold action and a commitment to avoid protectionism. “We should not develop the habit of retreating to the harbour whenever encountering a storm.” Referring to the threat of protectionism, he predicted that “nobody will emerge as a winner in a trade war.”
President Xi also stressed that China will continue its economic reforms and opening up, and will maintain its high level of economic growth while pursuing sustainable development. “We know only too well that there is no such thing as a free lunch in the world and that no pie will fall from the sky.”
Reacting to Xi’s speech, Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum’s Founder and Executive Chairman, told participants that it is crucial that globalization leads to a fair, innovative, open and inclusive world. “We cannot go back to old policies,” he said. “We cannot take recipes which may have worked in the old world but are not working anymore in the new world.” (ANI)