Emphasis on commitment to support joint response to challenges earns praise
President Xi Jinping's speech at the World Economic Forum Virtual Event of the Davos Agenda on Monday has made clear China's commitment to upholding multilateralism and injected impetus into the world's joint response to challenges, global experts said.
In his special address, Xi said the problems facing the world are intricate and complex and that the way out of them is "through upholding multilateralism and building a community with a shared future for mankind".
He also expressed opposition to the building of "small circles" and starting a new Cold War, because these acts, as well as efforts to "reject, threaten or intimidate others, to willfully impose decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions, and to create isolation or estrangement will only push the world into division and even confrontation".
There have been more voices in the US academic community calling for an end to the attempt to decouple the two countries, either in trade or technology, experts said.
David Dollar and Ryan Hass, two senior fellows at the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, said in an article on Monday that while it will be "tempting" to try to decouple from China, "decoupling is a losing strategy down the road since America's partners would not follow suit, and the US would end up isolated".
Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a China expert and chairman of The Kuhn Foundation, said that multilateralism is not optional in today's tightly wired world£from controlling the pandemic to macroeconomic interconnectedness£and international coordination and common prosperity have long been recurrent themes for Xi. The challenge for the world, and for China, is to prevent issues of contention from disrupting optimum actions.
Led by Xi, China continues to extol and promote international coordination, starting with macroeconomic policy coordination, he said.
"China has been the country most committed to globalization, and even though China is now adopting a 'dual circulation' strategy that enhances the importance of its domestic market during our volatile times, this in no way reduces China commitment to global engagement," Kuhn said.
Bernard Dewit, chairman of the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said that Xi's speech "clearly and rightly describes the major tasks the world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences".
Dewit said he appreciated that Xi declared that the global community cannot tackle common challenges in a divided world and advocated the building of an open world economy.
"It is important for Europe and the rest of the world to note that Chinese President Xi confirms that his country will continue to implement a strategy of opening-up and promote sustainable development," he said.
Evgeny Zagrebnov, a Russian expert on Sino-Russian relations, said Xi's speech showed China's commitment to free trade and investment. China is calling for the international community to get rid of economic barriers and jointly find a solution to challenges brought by economic globalization.
The reform of global economic structures allows China and other developing countries to play a more balanced role on the world stage. It also makes the global economy stronger, more regulated and more resilient, which fits the concept of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Zagrebnov said.
Yuzo Tanaka, a professor of economics at Ryukoku University in Kyoto, said that China's contribution to the world economy is the "light shining out of the darkness" after a crippling pandemic plunged major world economies into recession, and Xi's stand on inclusive growth, green development, global governance and consensus-building fit the goal of this year's Davos, which is "a historic opportunity for collaboration".
Nawazish Mirza, an associate professor of finance at Excelia Business School in France, said that Xi's speech was "a reiteration of China's commitment to cooperation, development and collective growth".
Mirza said that Chinese policy has always opposed conflict in international relations, and Xi's speech maintained that stance.
"China has been the only economy that has reported robust growth during the pandemic, and meaningful cooperation could yield significant prospects for the US. The lowering of sanctions, minimizing supply disruptions, strategic communication and technology sharing could not only benefit both the world powers but also contribute to global growth, something that is much needed in a post-pandemic world."
Mirza said: "Xi also pointed out the importance of closing the divide between developed and developing countries aligned with the Chinese view of shared prosperity."
Dennis Munene, executive director of the China-Africa Center at the Africa Policy Institute, said that Xi's speech comes at a time when the global community is looking for sustainable economic policies to revive its struggling economy.
"In reviving the global economy, President Xi advocates the shunning of ideological prejudice such as unilateralism and isolationism and instead promotes multilateralism and building a community with a shared future for mankind," he said.
Munene said he appreciates that Xi advocates the strengthening of equal opportunities, equal rights and equal rules so that all countries will benefit from the fruits of development.
Prime Sarmiento in Hong Kong, Liu Yinmeng in Los Angeles, Wang Xu in Tokyo and Liu Hongjie and Chen Yingqun in Beijing contributed to this story.