Chinese President Xi Jinping warned world leaders at the hypothetical Davos forum on Monday of starting a “new cold war” while championing multilateralism.
Representing the only major economy to record economic growth last year, Xi presented himself as the defender of multilateralism, as he did at the same forum four years ago when Donald Trump was about to take over the presidency of the United States.
Without naming the United States, Xi appeared to have a message for Trump’s successor Joe Biden, who had entered the White House only a few days earlier, but had not addressed the annual World Economic Forum (WEF).
“To build small groups or start a new cold war, to reject, threaten or intimidate others … will only push the world into division,” Xi told the world’s political and economic elite as the Biden administration plans to revitalize global alliances to confront China’s growing. Effect.
Trump chose open confrontation and verbal attacks, without tangible consequences for the massive US trade deficit with China.
Although Biden may untangle the controversial measures of Trump’s era one by one, he nevertheless indicated that the United States would closely look for its own interests.
An executive order is to prioritize US companies and products in contracting with the federal government as part of a comprehensive plan to save industrial jobs by increasing investments in factories and workers.
Meanwhile, European leaders have presented their own agendas at the World Economic Forum – It is usually held in the Swiss ski resort of Davos but occurs roughly this year due to the epidemic.
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier defended a controversial agreement signed by the European Union and China in late December to provide increased mutual access to markets.
Altmire said the deal repeats “many of the arrangements the United States has already entered into with China.”
A year of healing
Herbert Deiss, president of the German auto giant Volkswagen, which has several factories in China, noted that the country represented a great opportunity for European companies.
But some members of the European Parliament and activist groups say the agreement should hinge on Beijing’s ratification of international conventions banning forced labor.
Kenneth Roth, head of Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization, commented on Twitter that Xi “strengthens global cooperation on Covid-19, as long as it does not involve a three-week investigation into covering up human transmission in Wuhan, enabling the virus to spread.” Globally. “
A year ago, the emergence of a mysterious flu-like illness in China sparked some comments on the forum when it was held at its usual location in Switzerland.
A year later, the world is still struggling to contain the Coronavirus, which has killed more than 2 million people and created 225 million jobs, according to the United Nations International Labor Organization.
The non-governmental organization Oxfam has hardly accused the world’s richest people.
Meanwhile, Oxfam said in the study titled “The Virus of Inequality”: “It may take more than a decade for the world’s poorest to recover.”
The optimism raised late last year due to the new vaccines has been tempered by delays in production and new variants, and many countries are thinking again about closures to stop the spread of the virus.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde nonetheless predicts that 2021 will be the “year of recovery”.
She said that while the renewed economic activity appears to be “a bit late”, it “should not be derailed.”
Other forum topics touched on on the first day were global taxation of digital giants, a priority for France that was opposed by the United States until recently.
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire welcomed a more conciliatory tone from the new Biden administration on the subject.
He expressed his hope that a multilateral agreement would be reached under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) by the middle of this year.