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Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 22:42

Xi: Open economies can solve global sluggishness

By An Baijie in Davos and Mo Jingxi in Beijing

Xi: Open economies can solve global sluggishness
President Xi Jinping and Swiss President Doris Leuthard launch the Swiss-Sino year of tourism next to a panda ice sculpture on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 47th annual World Economic Forum in Davos. (Photo/Agencies)

President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday at the Davos World Economic Forum for boosting open economies as a solution to global sluggishness.

Xi's commitment to an open economy and firm opposition to trade protectionism will bring more confidence to the global economy, analysts said.

President Xi delivers a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday

"Practicing trade protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. It seems to have screened wind and rain, but it also isolates one from sunshine and air," Xi said at the forum in Switzerland, which was attended by political and business leaders.

"Staging a trade war will only hurt both sides," he added.

Mentioning that economic globalization has been criticized by some as the cause of global sluggishness, Xi said it is not globalization that should be blamed, but regional conflicts. He said these have resulted in many problems, including the refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa.

"Of course, we also admit that economic globalization is a double-edged sword," Xi said, adding that it is not easy to "make the cake of global economy" bigger at a time when the traditional economic engine is losing power.

China has not only benefited from economic globalization but also contributed to the process, Xi said, adding that China's economy has contributed to more than 30 percent of global growth.

Xi: Open economies can solve global sluggishness
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the WEF (L) walks out with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a session during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 17, 2017. (Photo/Xinhua)

"China will not envy others, nor will it complain if others benefit from China's development," he said.

China's development is an opportunity for the world and the nation welcomes other countries to share its opportunities, Xi said.

While meeting with forum founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, Xi said that the Davos World Economic Forum had sent positive signals to the world and boosted people's confidence toward economic globalization.

The forum has focused on the current international situation and pointed a way for the world economy to step out of traps, Xi said.

He pointed out that China now has more close links with the forum, and as many as 10 Davos summer forums have been successfully held in the country.

In the past several years, the Chinese economy has made impressive achievements, and the international community is looking for China's solution, he said.

Doris Leuthard, the Swiss president, noting that extremism, violence and conflict have been frequent in recent years, said the world is experiencing fundamental changes.

"The European Union, stable for so long, now has its work cut out," Leuthard said. "Nationalism and protectionism are gaining the upper hand" in many regions of the world, she added.

Huang Ping, director of the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Xi's commitment to an open economy has shown China's responsibility in response to global challenges.

Xi has offered China's solutions to various global problems including the refugee crisis, terrorism, poverty and climate change, he said.

Jin Yong, deputy head of the School of International Studies at Communication University of China, said that since economies around the world are facing uncertainties caused by the transition to a new US president and divisions in Europe, the time is right for China to step up and boost global confidence.

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