Xi's speech in Davos receives warm applause

Updated 2017-01-18 09:25:00 China Daily

President Xi Jinping's speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum earned wide praise from entrepreneurs and scholars. [Special Coverage]

"Protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. No one would emerge a winner in a trade war," Xi said, adding that there's no point in blaming globalization for economic pitfalls.

It is the first time that a top Chinese leader has attended the annual gathering of global political and corporate leaders. Xi's attendance also has come at a time when China is taking more of a leadership role in reducing free-trade barriers globally, as when the president vowed to fight protectionism at a forum of Asia-Pacific leaders in Peru in November.

Here is a collection of comments from attendees.

Swiss Confederation President Doris Leuthard: Xi gave impressive speech in Davos

After President Xi Jinping's state visit to her country and his opening speech at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, Swiss Confederation President Doris Leuthard said Xi's speech was impressive and encouraging, which once again indicated their shared values.

She also said Xi's visit to her country is a huge success with dozens of agreements signed and trust being boosted.

Klaus Schwab

Founder and Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum

"This is a very important speech at an important moment."

"We're living in a global, independent world and we cannot recreate artificial borders. Globalization is a win-win situation and we have a common destiny as humankind," Schwab said. "Your commitment, Mr President, to the innovative, open and inclusive world is crucial."

He acknowledged the "Chinese Dream" initiated by Xi and called for a "Global Dream", a dream of a world that remains innovation, open and fair.

"We cannot go back to old policies and it will be inappropriate for us to use old methods," Schwab said. "As you committed to approach global governance and global cooperation in a new way, we need new ideas here to refresh the new world."

Okendo Lewis-Gayle

Chairman of Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance and MPA Candidate of Harvard Kennedy School

"I am truly heartened by President Xi's fervent defense of globalization. In spite of the challenges, I still believe the benefits of our global system far outweigh the costs and, as the president suggested, effective collaboration can lead to ever more inclusive prosperity and a peaceful world.

Thanks to my work with African entrepreneurs and my exposure to research at the Belfer Center at Harvard, I have followed closely the peaceful rise of China. This morning's address by President Xi is further proof that China's leadership has proven to be, just like the theme of this year's gathering in Davos, responsive, responsible and ready to lead the betterment of our global economic order."

Gao Jifan

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Trina Solar Ltd

"As a participant in the clean energy sector, to be able to hear the most authoritative views from the top Chinese leader, it was a moving moment for me and I was hugely inspired. Present Xi's speech is from a strategically advantageous position and it opens up broad horizons, providing new thinking and a new approach from China to global economic governance, and giving us an extremely strong confidence boost."

Jing Xiandong

CEO of Ant Financial

"As I talked with others here, we were carried along with President Xi's speech and deeply impressed with his efforts to the push for globalization and offering Chinese proposals. I went to the G20 Summit in Hangzhou last year. I felt the same Chinese wisdom and prowess here in Davos."

Wang Jianlin

Chairman of Dalian Wanda Group

"I am very impressed with President Xi's elaboration on globalization. He used almost half of his speech to comment on globalization. It targeted the rising protectionism and populism around the world. Globalization is neither a fairytale nor a devil; it is a trend. It depends on how you manage it.

Also I am very impressed with how President Xi elaborated on China's contribution to the world economy. China is not merely a benefiter, but also a contributor."

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