Davos 2017: China’s Xi Jinping warns against protectionism

Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a stark warning against protectionism on Tuesday, as he championed globalization at a time it faces a major backlash in the West.

He was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, as the first Chinese president to address the annual meeting of movers and shakers.

“We should say ‘no’ to protectionism,” Xi told delegates at the meeting’s opening plenary session.

“Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. Wind and rain may be kept outside, but so is light and air.”

The president said globalization has caused issues but that these need to be dealt with.

“(There is) no point in blaming economic globalization for the world’s problems… It is true that economic globalization has created new problems, but this is not justification to write off economic globalization altogether,” he said.

“We should adapt to, and guide economic globalization.”

Xi’s speech had been highly anticipated, especially ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president on Friday.

In what has been interpreted by some as a message to the new US president, Xi told the Annual Meeting in Davos: “No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.”

He added that inequality is the “biggest challenge facing world today”.


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