China’s Xi Jinping defends economic globalisation

CHINA’S PRESIDENT Xi Jinping defended economic globalisation in his first speech to the World Economic Forum at Davos.

It is true that economic globalisation has created new problems. But this is no justification to write off economic globalisation altogether. Rather we should adapt to and guide globalisation, cushion its negative impact, and deliver its benefits to all countries and all nations,” he said.

At a time when protectionist and nationalist forces are on the rise in the West, President Xi warned against making globalisation a scapegoat.

“Some people blame economic globalisation for the chaos in our world. Economic globalisation was once viewed as the treasure cave found by Ali Baba in the Arabian Nights, but now it has become the Pandora’s Box.”

However, the world’s problems could not simply be laid at globalisation’s door, from the “heart-breaking” refugee crisis to the financial crisis.

“The international financial crisis is another example, it is not an inevitable outcome of economic globalisation, rather it is the consequence of the excessive chase of profit by financial capital and a great failure of financial regulation,” he said.

President Xi said that “the global economy is the big ocean you cannot escape from” and that China had “learned how to swim”.

After 38 years of reform and opening up, China has become the world’s second-largest economy. “China’s development is an opportunity for the world. China has not only benefited from economic globalisation but also contributed to it,” he said.

Looking ahead, President Xi warned against protectionism.

“We should commit ourselves to growing an open global economy,” he said. “No one will emerge as the winner in a trade war.”

He added: “China has no intention to boost its trade development by devaluing the Renminbi still less by launching a currency war.”

The speech ended with a plea for cooperation in turbulent times: “World history shows that the road of human civilisation has never been a smooth one and that mankind has made progress by surmounting difficulty. No difficulty, however daunting, will stop mankind from advancing.

“When encountering difficulty we should not complain, blame others, or run away from responsibilities … Instead we should join hands and rise to the challenge. History is made by the brave.” – WEF

January 2017
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