Xi's Davos visit shows Chinese wisdom, confidence

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Chinese President Xi Jinping's four-day visit to Switzerland and his address at the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) have shown the world Chinese wisdom and confidence against the backdrop of a sluggish global economy and rising anti-globalization sentiment, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters here Thursday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 18, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

 Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 18, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

While addressing the opening plenary of the 2017 annual meeting of the WEF at Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, Xi called for joint efforts to shoulder the responsibility of the times and promote world development, Wang said.

China's proposition on globalization

At the Davos Forum, the Chinese president illustrated the objective necessity of economic globalization, Wang said. Though globalization has met with structural difficulties, Xi, pointing out China's successful experience, emphasized the necessity of "swimming in the ocean" of the world market and pro-actively adapting to globalization.

According to Xi, economic globalization is a double-edged sword.

"In the face of both opportunities and challenges of economic globalization, the right thing to do is to seize every opportunity, jointly meet challenges and chart the right course for economic globalization," he said.

China's plan on world economic issues

Analyzing the root causes of the sluggish global economy and the problems for which globalization has been made the scapegoat, Xi pointed to a lack of robust driving forces for global growth, inadequate global economic governance, and uneven global development, Wang said.

Xi stressed the importance of developing a dynamic innovation-driven growth model featuring open and win-win cooperation, fair and equitable governance, and balanced, equitable and inclusive development.

China's development, world's opportunity

At the WEF, Xi pointed out that China is not only the beneficiary of economic globalization, but also a contributor to it. China's development will continue to offer opportunities to business communities in other countries, he pledged.

In the coming five years, China is expected to import $8 trillion of goods, attract $600 billion of foreign investment, and make 750 billion dollars of outbound investment, said the president, adding that Chinese tourists are expected to make 700 million overseas visits.

China will keep its door wide open, Xi told the forum, voicing hope that other countries will also keep their doors open to Chinese investors and keep the playing field level for them.

On the progress of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi told the audience that China's circle of friends is growing bigger and the initiative has delivered significant benefits.

Over 100 countries and international organizations have supported the initiative, and more than 40 have signed cooperation agreements with China, Xi said.

According to Wang, the Chinese president offered a series of proposals at the Davos Forum on how to deal with global challenges, and specifically answered some key questions such as "What's wrong with the world?", "What are we going to do about it?", and "What is China going to do about it?".

Xi called on participants to join hands and share weal and woe together, and jointly withstand the tough times. He also offered China's solution to the world's economic problems, along with much-needed confidence and hope for the global economy, Wang said.

Envisioning future

Geneva, one of the most important centers for multilateral diplomacy in the world, witnessed new China's debut on international arena in 1954 when late Premier Zhou Enlai led a Chinese delegation to attend the Geneva Conference and fought for peace to the widespread praises from around the world, Wang said.

Xi's visit to the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) was not only the first by a Chinese head of state in the 21st century, but also a significant move of China's multilateral diplomacy, said Wang.

After his attendance at a series of events marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations in 2015, the Chinese leader once again sent a clear message to the world that China is behind the world body and is a strong supporter of multilateralism, he said.

During the visit to the UNOG, Xi met Peter Thomson, president of the 71st UN General Assembly and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and delivered a keynote speech at the Palace of Nations.

With a vision on the future and destiny of mankind and the trend of the development of times, Xi expounded the concept of building a community of shared future for mankind, which is the core of China's foreign policy in the new era, said the foreign minister.

From a historical angle, the Chinese president reviewed the principles of international relations such as equality of sovereignty, peaceful reconciliation, rule of law and justice, openness and tolerance, humanitarianism, and summarized the basic framework to be followed when the world builds a community of shared future for mankind, said Wang.

From the angle of current times, Xi pointed out the major global challenges, called for the building of a world with sustainable peace and comprehensive security, prosperity, openness and inclusion and cleanness and beauty, said the foreign minister.

From a future perspective, Xi responded to the international community's interest in China's direction by emphasizing China's determination to safeguard world peace, its commitment to promoting common development, its desire to build partnerships with other countries, and its stand in favor of multilateralism.

During his visit to the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Xi witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between China and the WHO on health cooperation under the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which was the first of its kind China has signed with a UN body. This would play a guiding and demonstrative role for other international organizations to join the initiative later on, according to Wang.

When visiting the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Xi had cordial talks with IOC President Thomas Bach, saying China has already successfully hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics and is preparing for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

"Xi has conveyed a clear message to the world that the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will be a magnificent, extraordinary, and super successful event," said Wang.

Model of inter-state relations

Wang said that Switzerland was among the first European countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China.

During their talks ,Xi and Swiss President Doris Leuthard explored issues of bilateral ties and common interest and agreed to maintain high-level exchanges, consolidate political trust, strengthen strategic coordination, deepen pragmatic cooperation, make more frequent and closer coordinations on international and regional issues, and join hands to safeguard world peace and stability, said Wang.

The foreign minister said that under the current turbulent international situation, the success story of Sino-Swiss cooperation shows that countries of different social systems and development stages can achieve shared and win-win development and build solid and sustainable state-to-state relations, if they respect each other and seek common ground while shelving differences.

Innovation cooperation

Switzerland is a nation with a strong innovative spirit and China is also promoting innovation as a national strategy, said Wang. In 2016, China and Switzerland established an innovative strategic partnership, the first of its kind.

"The two governments signed a new MoU on setting up a dialogue platform between the two countries on innovation strategies, which would work as a new cooperative mechanism to supervise and coordinate the progress of innovation cooperation in all fields," said the foreign minister.

He said the two leaders also agreed to strengthen the alignment of "Made in China 2025" and "Switzerland and Industry 4.0" strategies and work on closer innovative cooperation between research institutes, entrepreneurs, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.

Open economy

Wang said the free trade agreement (FTA) between China and Switzerland, which entered into force in 2014 as the first between China and a European nation, has become the locomotive to increase quality and efficiency of pragmatic cooperation.

During Xi's visit, the two sides agreed to start joint research on upgrading the FTA and to begin talks on it as early as possible.

The two sides are committed to expanding cooperations in trade, investment, finance, insurance, environmental protection and customs, while jointly promoting the Belt and Road Initiative through multilateral platforms like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, said Wang.

People-to-people exchanges

Wang said the peoples of China and Switzerland have a long history of friendly exchanges, even though their respective countries are geographically apart.

"President Xi and his wife have greatly consolidated the existing friendship between the two peoples, through interactions with all walks of life of Swiss society, sharing beautiful tales of Sino-Swiss traditional exchanges, taking family photos with the Davos snow peaks as the background and announcing the launch of the "2017 Sino-Swiss Tourism Year," said Wang.

Wang said that Xi made a visit to only one nation, but aimed at the whole world with emphasis on both bilateral and multilateral ties, and dedication to both peace and development at the same time, thus completing the opening chapter of China's 2017 diplomacy.

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