More than half a dozen senior Chinese government figures will be in Davos this week
(L/Keystone via AP), photo :AP/Laurent Gillieron
16 of January 2017 20:03:54
DAVOS, Switzerland – Chinese President Xi Jinping will defend globalization in the face of mounting public hostility in the West on Tuesday in a speech at the World Economic Forum that will underline Beijing's growing global role.Xi's appearance, a first for a Chinese leader at the annual meeting of political leaders, CEOs and bankers in Davos, comes as the part the United States plays as a force for multilateral cooperation on issues like trade and climate change is in doubt following the election of Donald Trump.Europe, meanwhile, is pre-occupied with its own troubles, from Brexit and militant attacks to the string of elections this year in which anti-globalization populists could score gains.This has left a vacuum that China seems eager to fill."It is no coincidence that Xi chose this year to make the trip up the magic mountain," said Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, a U.S. based political risk consultancy.More than half a dozen senior Chinese government figures will be in Davos this week, far more than in past years. And a large number of sessions are focused on Asia, including one entitled "Asia Takes the Lead".WEF founder Klaus Schwab said Xi's presence was a sign of the shift from a uni-polar world dominated by the United States, to a more multi-polar system in which rising powers like China will have to step up and play a bigger role."We can hope that China in this new world will assume a responsive and responsible leadership role," Schwab told reporters. "So in some ways it is very symbolic to have the president of China here."