China's pledge of further reform and opening-up has injected a sense of certainty and hope into the global economy, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday.[Special coverage]
The IMF chief made the remark during a meeting with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan province.
Lagarde lauded Xi's speech at the forum's opening ceremony, which sent a positive signal of China's determination to push reforms and opening-up, and she said the world needs that kind of leadership from China.
Lagarde said a main responsibility of the IMF is to maintain free trade and the multilateral system. She said unilateralism will harm global economic and financial stability.
During the meeting, Xi acknowledged the IMF's contribution to global economic recovery and financial stability as well as the institution's governance reform to boost the representation and voting power of developing countries.
Xi said that China, as a responsible country, is a builder of and contributor to the existing international system. China is committed to maintaining world order and rules, and the country will continue to support free trade and investment liberalization.
The international community needs to abandon a cold war mentality and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi added.
The president also praised the IMF's attention to the development of China and Asia and its support for the Belt and Road Initiative, and he said China will seek closer cooperation with the IMF.
At the conference, Lagarde exchanged views with Chinese and international business leaders including Jack Ma, founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group.
She called for fewer trade barriers and greater openness as commerce is a major factor in reducing extreme poverty and spreading innovation.
"We need fewer barriers, more trade and more sectors covered by openness," Lagarde told a gathering attended by leading business and political luminaries.
The IMF chief said countries should resist the temptation to use inward-looking policies and protectionism in an effort to sustain sound economic growth. History has shown the downsides of closing the doors to the rest of world and the benefits of open trade, Lagarde said.