Klaus Schwab: I don't like 'the new cold war' theory
Updated 19:21, 22-Jan-2020
World Insight with Tian Wei
"I don't like the statement [that China and the U.S. will go into a new cold war]," said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
More than 1,000 major companies – and some 250 political leaders are descending on the small Swiss town of Davos this week – including U.S. President Donald Trump. Despite efforts to broaden its appeal, the annual meeting's still widely seen as a get-together for global elites. With the theme "Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World," the WEF got underway on Tuesday for the 50th time.
Talking about "the major power rivalry" theory, Schwab shared his impression of China-U.S. relationship. Before the opening of the forum, the two countries had signed the phase one trade deal, and the two sides also agreed upon a framework which aims to prevent a similar trade deadlock in the future. This pact has been hailed by the international community.
However, the global risks report of the WEF indicated that major power rivalry now has become one of the biggest dangers the world is facing right now. Schwab thinks it has to be discussed not only on an official level, but also through informal ways, particularly with business people.
According to him, if technology companies from the U.S. could directly communicate with their counterparts from China, those contacts can lead to a better mutual understanding – the base for making progress to create a framework, which is how to solve issues.
The WEF is known to be a platform for discussion and reconciliation for many global issues. But some say it's going to be different this time between China and the U.S. This is going to be a "new cold war".
Schwab said he does not like this statement, because sometimes prophecies have a tendency to self-fulfill.
"I think we have to make every effort to avoid the situation you just described, because the ultimate result would be two circles with the old rules. And this would certainly not be in the interest of humankind, because, as you said, it would be a cold war, but much more technology war," he said.
Speaking on the expectation of China-U.S. future and other leaders, Schwab expected everyone takes the spirit of Davos, which emphasizes much more the common, not putting that apart. "If the issues are difficult to solve, we want to hear the possible solutions of how we can go forward," said Schwab.
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