President Xi Jinping to Put Beijing in the Business Spotlight at Davos World Economic Forum

By | Jan 14, 2017 12:22 AM EST
President Xi Jinping to Put Beijing in the Business Spotlight at Davos World Economic Forum

Analysts said President Xi Jinping will take advantage of his appearance at the global forum to show China's economic strength.(Photo : Getty Images)

All eyes will be on Chinese President Xi Jinping as he is about to bask in the spotlight at the gathering of world leaders and the business elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos next Tuesday, days ahead of the US President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday.

Xi will be the first Chinese president to join the World Economic Forum gathering with political and economic experts saying Xi would make his country take center stage during the entire global meeting.

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As Xi is expected to speak before business leaders and the global elite, political analysts on Friday said Xi would take advantage of his Davos appearance to show Beijing's economic strength as well as its position as a responsible stakeholder.


Xi is expected to focus on China as a promoter of globalization in his plenary speech amid Trump's protectionist stance and his choice of hardline China critics to head top positions on trade and defense.

"I think China's trying to send a signal that it's the world's most responsible stakeholder. The U.S., by contrast, is a greater source of anxiety, tensions and volatility," Scott Kennedy, a political expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said on Friday.

"The growing tensions between the U.S. and China gives this a bigger, larger significance than it otherwise would have," he said.

Logical Place

The analysts said Xi will grab the opportunity at Davos to show the global community that China, the world's second largest economy, will still be the logical place to invest despite Trump's anti-China rhetoric.

"More than ever, China has to raise a voice, when we know President-elect Trump is challenging, criticizing China," Richard Attias, head of the consulting firm, Richard Attias & Associates, noted.

Attias said President Xi's move at the forum would just be "right" in response to challenges brought on by Trump's heavy criticisms of Beijing.

Potential Investors

He added that at Davos, the Chinese businessmen will explain to potential investors that despite Trump's anti-China rhetoric, Beijing is still the most logical place to invest.

Trump has been vocal about his disdain for China, calling it a currency manipulator and accusing it of robbing jobs from American workers.

During his campaign rallies, he repeatedly charged Beijing of committing unfair trade practices and vowed to punish the Asian giant by slapping a 45 percent tariff on all China imports once he becomes president.

China has responded to his tirades by saying it would retaliate if Trump launches a trade war with Beijing. Part of the retaliation would be imposing heavy taxes on American firms operating in Beijing and initiating business investigations on US companies, among others.

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