Hand in Hand: China calls for multilateralism to tackle global crises
Updated 00:01, 26-Jan-2021
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda and delivers a special address via video link in Beijing, capital of China, January 25, 2021. /Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda and delivers a special address via video link in Beijing, capital of China, January 25, 2021. /Xinhua

Against the backdrop of a pandemic that has taken tolls on global public health and put the world economy in deep recession, the world in 2020 left many living with fear and uncertainty with the situation further worsening due to other emerging challenges.

The chaotic situation the world currently faces is similar to that of four years ago when Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered his first landmark speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF), offering Chinese solutions to the global community.

"We must carry on the fight," said Xi to global leaders on curbing the COVID-19 outbreak at the WEF virtual event of the Davos Agenda on Monday. "Yet we remain convinced that winter cannot stop the arrival of spring and darkness can never shroud the light of dawn."

Read More: A look back at Xi's quotes from Davos 2017: What has China done?

Themed "A Crucial Year to Rebuild Trust," the event this year, taking place on January 25-29, aims at rebuilding trust and shaping the policies and partnerships needed in 2021. More than 1,500 business, government and civil society leaders from over 70 countries and regions will set the agenda for 2021. 

China has said that it hopes Xi's speech this year will help reach global consensus, rebuild global trust, and boost global cooperation, and together find solutions for urgent global problems the international community is facing.

Xi said that global cooperation is the best way to defeat the pandemic as well as other global crises. The world should champion multilateralism and build a community with a shared future for mankind, the Chinese president said, noting that no global problem can be solved by any one country alone.

"There should be global action, global response and global cooperation," he said.

Read More: Xi Jinping: China to continue working with int'l community to combat COVID-19

Facilitate global cooperation and consultation mechanism


China has always been a firm defender and active practitioner of multilateralism, joining or building multilateral platforms.

It has initiated the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and China International Import Expo and signed the world's largest free trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), in November last year. 

As the world faces the urgent task of economic recovery in the post-pandemic era, Xi said that countries should first step up their macroeconomic policy coordination to promote stronger and more inclusive growth of the world economy, using the G20 as the premier forum for global economic governance. 

China's economy grew by 2.3 percent in 2020, making it the only major economy to see positive growth with the world economy ravaged by the pandemic. 

Leading financial agencies, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), expect China to lead the global macro recovery as it is believed that the spending power of Chinese consumers will drive the country's continued recovery in 2021.

In addition, Xi also called on the world to avoid confrontation using excuses of differences in history, culture or system. Instead, the world should stick to cooperation based on mutual benefits and resolve disagreements through consultation and dialogue.

Strive for balanced development for all countries


With the world grappling with the pandemic, the economic recoveries of developed nations and developing countries are following divergent trajectories. The developing countries with fewer resources, particularly hit by the pandemic, are imminently in need of help to catch up in the global recovery.

In his speech, Xi called on the world to provide necessary help in terms of more resources and space for the development of developing countries, for the sake of the good of all. "We should recognize that with the growth of developing countries, global prosperity and stability will be put on a more solid footing, and developed countries will stand to benefit from such growth," he said.

The Chinese president also cautioned that the world should stay committed to international law and international rules instead of seeking one's own supremacy. "Multilateralism is about having international affairs addressed through consultation and the future of the world decided by everyone working together," he said.

The international community should safeguard the legitimate development interests of developing countries. It should make strengthening equal rights, equal opportunities and equal rules the long-term goal so that all countries will benefit from the opportunities and fruits of development, he added.

China restates continued cooperation for common prosperity

Despite the pandemic, China has managed to push forward its domestic tasks. Over the past 40 years, China has made historic gains in ending extreme poverty, bringing over 800 million people out of poverty, representing over 70 percent of global poverty reduction. 

For China's part in contributing to the brand new year, Xi pledged that China will work with other countries to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. He has promised that China will give a helping hand to developing countries to eradicate poverty, ease debt burden, and achieve more growth.

As China enters a new development stage, Xi said that China will follow a new development philosophy and foster a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other, unleashing the potential of the huge Chinese market and enormous domestic demand.

"We hope these efforts will bring more cooperation opportunities to other countries and give further impetus to global economic recovery and growth," Xi said.

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