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Xi's Davos speech hailed by experts as visionary

By PRIME SARMIENTO in Hong Kong, ANGUS MCNEICE in London,ANGUS MCNEICE and CHEN YINGQUN in Beijing | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-01-19 07:54
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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 Xi Jinping's speech on Monday in which he pledged to embrace cooperation on jointly overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and championing economic globalization has been hailed by global experts as forward-looking and problem-solving.

At the virtual session of the 2022 World Economic Forum, Xi called on countries to embrace cooperation and jointly defeat the pandemic, resolve various risks and promote the steady recovery of the world economy, and uphold true multilateralism. He also reaffirmed China's commitment to pursuing high-quality development and reform and opening-up, as well as ecological conservation, in order to create a better post-COVID-19 world.

Bilveer Singh, deputy head of the political science department of National University of Singapore, said that Xi's speech had a spirit of "optimism and confidence".

"It was forward-looking and problem-solving," Singh said.

Singh added that while the world is experiencing crises, Xi's speech will help to dispel uncertainty, and it had a clear can-do approach.

Nawazish Mirza, a professor of finance at Excelia Business School in France, said that at a time when humanity is being greatly challenged by the pandemic, only peaceful collaboration can help the world emerge from this crisis.

"In this context, China has set an example by sending over 2 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations. Other developed economies need a similar stance to help control the health crisis," Mirza said.

Supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese drugmaker Sinovac are unloaded at the El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Colombia, on March 6 last year. [COLOMBIAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE/XINHUA]

Similarly, in a post-COVID world, leaving aside political differences and working for a better future through joint development can ensure prosperity and improved living standards for the global population. Moreover, combating climate change and ensuring a sustainable future can only be achieved through cooperation, he said.

Christopher Bovis, a professor of international business law at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, said Xi stated that the economic recovery from the pandemic will be channeled through globalization and free trade.

Xi also acknowledged the change in economic and political environments due to the pandemic and the adverse effects of deglobalization and economic decoupling, Bovis said.

Gerald Mbanda, a researcher and publisher on China and Africa in Rwanda, said that Xi's speech emphasized embracing true multilateralism and global cooperation in overcoming the pandemic in order to boost socioeconomic recovery and development.

"Xi's pledge to provide another 1 billion doses to African countries was good news for almost all African countries, which still have a big deficit of vaccines," he said.

He added that Xi's concern for developing countries that have fallen back into poverty and instability due to the pandemic is "a manifestation of China's commitment to and support of development for all, to create a better future for humanity".

Yuzo Tanaka, a professor of economics at Ryukoku University in Kyoto, Japan, said the "Cold War mentality" and confrontation not only invite disastrous repercussions but have also forced other countries to "pick a side", which absurdly limits global interaction.

Wang Xu in Tokyo and Liu Hongjie in Beijing contributed to this story.

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