BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s President Xi Jinping will seek to promote “inclusive globalization” in his keynote speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, later this month, China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
“Economic globalization is facing resistance,” vice foreign minister Li Baodong said at a briefing on Xi’s Davos visit.
Beijing will respond to the international community’s concern over globalization by putting forward China’s opinions on how to “steer economic globalization towards greater inclusiveness”, he said.
This year’s forum, from Jan. 17-20, is expected to be dominated by discussion of an outbreak of public hostility towards globalization and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, whose tough talk on trade, including promises of tariffs against China and Mexico, helped win him the White House. Trump will be sworn in on Jan. 20.
Li said criticism of trade protectionism leveled at China, by Trump and others, was unjust. “Trade protectionism will lead to isolation and is in the interest of no one,” he said.
“Channels of communication are open” between China and Trump’s transition team at the forum, Li said, but warned that scheduling a meeting might be difficult.
Days after Trump’s victory, Xi led a forum of Asia-Pacific leaders in Peru in November, vowing to fight protectionism and to push forward with multilateral trade deals.
Xi’s attendance at the Davos forum on Jan. 17, part of a three day state visit to Switzerland from Jan. 15 to 18, makes him the first Chinese president to attend the forum.
Foreign businesses in China have long complained about a lack of market access and protectionist Chinese policies. These include a Made in China 2025 plan that calls for a progressive increase in domestic components in sectors such as advanced information technology and robotics.
Other global leaders, including WEF regular German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will not attend this year’s Davos forum.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was also absent from the line-up published on Tuesday, but there were many presidents, prime ministers and central bankers among the 3,000 participants, which includes 1,800 executives from 1,000 companies.
The United States will be represented by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, days before they leave office, as well as someone from the Trump transition team, the WEF said on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Michael Perry)