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Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 17:22

Xi to be 1st Chinese president to join WEF

By Agencies

BEIJING – President Xi Jinping this month will become the first Chinese head of state to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

A spokesperson of the China’s foreign ministry confirmed Tuesday in Beijing that Xi will pay a state visit to Switzerland from Jan 15-18, at the invitation of the Federal Council of Switzerland.

He will also visit the UN Office at Geneva and the WHO as well as the IOC headquarters

During the visit, Xi will attend the 47th WEF annual meeting on Jan 17, at the invitation of WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab, spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing.

President Xi will also visit the United Nations Office at Geneva and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the International Olympics Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne on Jan 18, at the invitation of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, and the IOC President Thomas Bach.

The WEF forum this year is expected to be dominated by debate over public anger with globalization and the coming presidency of Donald Trump, who won the White House in part with promises to pull the United States out of international trade deals.

Xi will take center stage at the gathering of political leaders, CEOs and celebrities as China presents itself as a champion of globalization.

Xi led a forum of Asia-Pacific leaders in Peru in November in vowing to fight protectionism, just days after Trump won the US election having pledged to pull out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

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