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Xi warns against confrontation at Davos forum

2022-01-17 HKT 21:24
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  • President Xi Jinping has touted China as a rare pandemic success story and the only major economy to continue posting strong growth. Photo: AP
    President Xi Jinping has touted China as a rare pandemic success story and the only major economy to continue posting strong growth. Photo: AP
President Xi Jinping warned on Monday that confrontation between major powers could have "catastrophic consequences" in a speech to world leaders at an all-virtual Davos forum.

For the second year in a row the face-to-face gathering of political and corporate power players in the Swiss Alps has had to go online thanks to a coronavirus pandemic that shows no sign of abating.

Xi opened proceedings with a speech much like the one he delivered virtually last year.

He touted China as a rare pandemic success story and the only major economy to continue posting strong growth, but gave sober warnings for the future as relations between major powers plunge.

"Our world today is far from the tranquil, rhetoric that stokes hatred and prejudice abound," he said, according to an official translation of the speech which was streamed online.

"History has proved time and again that confrontation does not solve problems, it only invites catastrophic consequences," he added.

In his speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Xi said the world had fought a "tenacious battle" against the "once-in-a-century pandemic".

But he said the pandemic was "proving a protracted one" with new variants spreading faster than before, deepening challenges for the global economy.

"The global industrial supply chains have been disrupted," Xi warned. "Commodity prices continue to rise, energy supply remains tight."

He added that Beijing was keen "for people-to-people exchange in a bid to facilitate cross border trade, keep the industrial supply chain secure and smooth, and promote steady and solid progress in global economic recovery". (AFP)