China takes center stage at the virtual World Economic Forum

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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World Economic Forum
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Chinese President Xi Jinping took center stage in an all-virtual pandemic-driven World Economic Forum meeting taking place in the backdrop of the change of power in US politics. 

2,000+ political leaders and company executives are expected to exchange views online this year, a first for the event which usually brings together global leadership for a week-long gathering at the Swiss mountain resort of Davos every year.

Chinese President took the opportunity to urge nations across the globe to accept national differences while cooperating more cohesively.  In a keynote where he refrained to address the change of guard in the United States, Mr. Xi Jinping pushed countries to “abandon ideological prejudice.”

Joe Biden, the new leader at the Oval Office was among global leaders who chose to not take part in the marquee event which will attract the presence of leads from Germany, France, Israel, India, Japan, South Korea and South Africa.

Hinting at the disagreement towards foreign mediation on matters within the homeland, the Chinese President remarked that “each country is unique, and none is superior to the other.”

The Xi leadership has been heavily criticized by several western countries for its crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong and the general human rights record.

International Trade 

Sharing his view on the trade disputes and tariff measures between the US and China which had escalated under the previous Trump administration, the Chinese leader expressed that “we should stay committed to consultation and cooperation instead of conflict and confrontation,” while adding that “Cold War, hot war, trade war or tech war would eventually hurt all countries’ interests.”

America is expected to have a representation during the event by his chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, and US climate envoy John Kerry.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also set to deliver a keynote speech later during the event.