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Xi's message of solidarity draws praise

By LIA ZHU in San Francisco and CHEN YINGQUN in Beijing | CHINA DAILY/XINHUA | Updated: 2022-01-20 07:21
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President Xi Jinping delivers a special address in Beijing to the 2022 World Economic Forum virtual session, on Jan 17, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

President's address seen as showing value of unity in shaping a better world

Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the 2022 World Economic Forum, or WEF, has injected confidence into hopes for a sustained global economic recovery and demonstrated China's sense of responsibility and the leader's wisdom, international experts said.

In his special address at the WEF virtual session on Monday, Xi called for the international community to come together in solidarity and cooperation amid the COVID-19 crisis.

"We need to embrace cooperation and jointly defeat the pandemic. Confronted by the once-in-a-century pandemic, which will affect the future of humanity, the international community has fought a tenacious battle," Xi said.

He also reaffirmed China's commitment to pursuing high-quality development and reform and opening-up, as well as ecological conservation, to create a better post-COVID-19 world.

Volker Tschapke, honorary president of Germany's Prussian Society, said that Xi's speech gives people confidence in the global economic recovery, stressing that peace and development are the themes that will determine the future of the world.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has set an example for countries and civilizations to develop together through mutual respect and achieve win-win cooperation through seeking common ground while reserving differences, said Tschapke.

George Koo, a retired international business adviser in Silicon Valley, California, said that Xi's remarks demonstrate the wisdom of a world leader with a vision for a world in which nations can rise together.

Xi's idea is for all nations to cooperate for the good of everyone, and not just for the benefit of a handful at the expense of others, Koo said. In contrast, an approach based on zero-sum competition to beggar thy neighbor is shortsighted, counterproductive and self-destructive.

Khor Yu Leng, an associate fellow of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said that the speech hit the right tone and words, and touched on respect for the rules-based international order, openness, and a lot more.

Joseph Matthews, a senior professor at the BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh, said the president's remarks showed the strength of China's efforts to promote multilateralism, international solidarity, and cooperation to address global challenges for common interest and peaceful coexistence.

"President Xi's speech truly reflects China's unwavering commitment to upholding true multilateralism and free trade, which are the key to global peace, economic recovery, and common development in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era," he said. "Cold War mentality, unilateralism, protectionism, hegemonism, and zero-sum games can only harm others," Matthews said. "Countries should coexist peacefully, achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind."

Call for cooperation

Dennis Munene, executive director of the China-Africa Center at the Africa Policy Institute, said that Xi reiterated the need to embrace unity and cooperation in working together to defeat the scourge of COVID-19.

"President Xi equated the international community at a time of a global crisis as one 'giant ship' on which our shared destiny of defeating the pandemic is anchored," he said.

He was very impressed when Xi pledged an additional 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to African countries and another donation of 150 million doses to countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Acknowledging the concerted efforts of the international community in fighting the pandemic, Munene said he also appreciates that Xi further stressed the need to close the global immunization gap by ensuring the equitable distribution of the vaccines to safeguard people's lives, health and livelihoods.

Prime Sarmiento in Hong Kong, Liu Hongjie in Beijing and Xinhua contributed to this story.

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