Tuesday 23 May 2017

China wants to trade, not protect democracy

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Ruben Sprich/Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Ruben Sprich/Reuters
Editorial

Editorial

China made a bold pitch for global leadership at Davos yesterday. It's a sign of how far nominally communist China has come that President Xi Jinping presented himself, convincingly, as the guardian of globalisation at the annual meeting of the world's business and political elite at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

The speech was well received, not least for rejecting incoming US President Donald Trump's nativist shift away from free trade.

The visit to Davos, the first by a Chinese president, is undoubtedly historic. It marks both a final stage in China's absorption into the Western economic system, and conversely also signals the Chinese dictatorship's bid for a global leadership role.

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