Jinping stands against protectionism at World Economic Forum

Beijing wants to play a greater global role as the US turns inward

The Dollar Business Bureau

While delivering a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed discontent over protectionism followed by other economies and highlighted China’s intention to have a greater global role amidst US trying to become a closed economy.

Jinping also took note of “America first” policies of Donald Trump and said that it is necessary for countries to have free trade and they should not be plainly abided by national interests.

It was in the backdrop of Trump’s remarks on China during his election campaign that Jinping took to expressing his concerns about the trade scenario with respect to the US. The President-elect had said that China needed to be dealt with more strictly on matters related to trade and hence be confronted more aggressively. 

Trump had also said that he will re-consider or scrap the multilateral trade agreements with different countries as a way to protect US from foreign competition. But, according to Jinping, this approach will not help the superpower in achieving its goal as protectionism can lead to a trade war, a scenario that will not benefit any economy. 

Jinping used the platform to highlight that China does not plan to devalue its currency in order to boost trade. He was countering Trump’s allegation of China depreciating its currency time and again to have a trade stimulus.  He, therefore, requested all the stakeholders of the historic climate deal signed last year to remain a part of the global agreement. Trump had earlier said that the United States might back out from the deal. 

The annual meet of World Economic Forum had a series of participants including politicians, CEOs and bankers wherein Jinping gave an hour-long speech. The forum also witnessed the participation of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jan 18, 2017 12:00 IST