President Xi Jinping pays a state visit to Switzerland from January 15th to 18th. He will attend the Davos forum on 17th, and Xi is the first Chinese Head of State to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF). President Xi promotes “inclusive globalization” in order to build “a human community with shared destiny” and warns that the rise of populist approaches can lead to “war, poverty, confrontation, and domination.”
WEF is an annual meeting that brings together business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals, and journalist for discussing the international affairs we are facing. It was founded in 1971 as an economic forum and in 1987, it broadened as an institutional forum, a platform for resolving different conflicts.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping leads an 80-strong delegation of business executives and billionaires at the forum. Chinese executives, including Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Dalian Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin, and Baidu President Zhang Yaqin. “This year, because of the size and scale of the China delegation, we have Chinese voices in most of the global discussions,” the WEF’s Chief China representative David Aikman said. WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said he expected Xi to show how China would take a “responsive and responsible leadership role,” he added later “I foresee that President Xi will be showing that China will play a positive role in global affairs at the forum.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a speech in December that China would “lead the way amid a shakeup in global governance, we will take hold of the situation amid international chaos, we will protect our interests amid intense and complex games.” Xi’s attendance makes a signal that China would like to be more influential on the global stage and present its capability of maintaining stability, as well as illustrate that it is a strong supporter of globalization and opponent of protectionism.
Xi utilizes this good chance to imagine China as a “responsive and responsible” state, the theme of Davos this year, at the same time that the U.S. plans to shrug off its responsibility at the worldwide level. China determines itself as a promoter of globalization, which leads us to a wealthier world with less conflict. Jiang Jianguo, the Head of China’s State Council Information office, said: “With the rise of populism, protectionism, and nativism, the world has come to a historic crossroad where one road leads to war, poverty, confrontation, and domination while the other road leads to peace, development, cooperation and win-win solutions.”
The Davos forum provides a stage where the leaders worldwide can exchange their opinions about ongoing conflicts, and it is a precious chance given the high-level of many countries, to gather together to have dialogues. WEF also offers an opportunity to business elites to contribute to promote mutual understanding through deepening and broadening financial and trade relations, economic interdependence will be a very effective way to promote peace among states’ interactions.
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