"No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war," Xi tells World Economic Forum...
Chinese president Xi Jinping spoke against the prevailing protectionist winds at the World Economic Forum in Davos today, expressing his views that a global trade war would not benefit any country.
Xi made the case that economic globalisation was not behind "many of the problems troubling the world", stating:
"Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean you cannot escape from."
As the first Chinese leader to attend the annual business gathering, Xi positioned his country as a global leader that would work against the kind of economic barriers that will be erected as a result of Britain leaving the EU and US President-elect Donald Trump's efforts to bolster and stimulate the American economy.
"We must remain committed to free trade and investment. We must promote trade and investment liberalisation. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war. The right thing to do is to seize every opportunity to jointly meet challenges and chart the right course for economic globalisation."
Behind the scenes, China is keen to make deals with economies that feel their relationship with the US will become strained or otherwise compromised while the buck stops with Trump.
Economist Nouriel Roubini told CNNMoney:
"If the US is going to give up on economic and trading relations with Asia and the Pacific, China has an alternative plan – not just for the Pacific and Asia, but also for Latin America."
Conversely, Xi also defended many of China's own prohibitive policies, such as certain industries being closed to outside competition and the massive amount of online censorship that takes place in the state. He said that the country had succeeded by following a path tailored to its unique needs and that it would not impose its standards on other countries.
The World Economic Forum continues in the Swiss Alps through to Friday, January 20th.