Tue Jan 17, 2017 01:16PM
Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed World Economic Forum in Davos
Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed World Economic Forum in Davos

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum has got into full swing in Davos, Switzerland with a keynote speech delivered by Chinese President Xi Jinping on economic globalization.

Addressing the forum on Tuesday, the Chinese president said, ”The voices attacking globalization have laid bare the pitfalls facing globalization and we need to take this seriously." 

President Xi insisted that there is “no point” blaming globalization for all the problems facing the world.

He said the flow of refugees from the Middle East and Africa was a global concern but that it was not caused by opening up markets.

The Chinese leader highlighted the need to act proactively and manage economic globalization appropriately so that it would be beneficial to all.

Xi is the first Chinese leader who has attended the annual meeting of political leaders, CEOs and bankers in Davos. His appearance comes as the part the US plays as a force for multilateral cooperation is in doubt following the election of Donald Trump.

The founder of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab said Xi's presence in the meeting was a sign of the shift from a uni-polar world dominated by the US to a more multi-polar system in which rising powers like China will have to step up and play a bigger role.

Reports say more than half a dozen senior Chinese government figures will be in Davos this week, far more than in past years. And a large number of sessions are focused on Asia, including one entitled "Asia Takes the Lead."

Xi's appearance comes amid rising tensions between China and the incoming US President Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated on Friday, the final day of the Davos meeting.

Trump has promised to confront China more aggressively on trade. He broke with decades of precedent last month by taking a congratulatory telephone call from the president of Taiwan, which Beijing sees as part of China.

China, the world's top exporter, is heavily dependent on free trade and could be hit hard by a new wave of protectionism.