New Delhi/Davos: Committing to bridge differences by dialogue and resolve disputes through negotiations with other countries, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Monday against ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ policies. Xi Jinping said the strong should not bully the weak by ‘showing off strong muscles or waving a big fist’. He also cautioned that any type of confrontation, be it in the form of ‘cold, hot, trade or tech war’, would eventually hurt all countries’ interests. In the process everyone’s well-being would be undermined.
“We should respect and accommodate differences, avoid meddling in other countries’ internal affairs. We should resolve disagreements through consultation and dialogue,” Xi said in a special address at the World Economic Forum’s week-long online Davos Agenda Summit. The summit will also be addressed Thursday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We have been shown time and again that to beggar thy neighbour, to go it alone, and to slip into arrogant isolation will always fail,” Xi asserted.
‘The beggar-thy-neighbour’ policies typically mean economic measures adopted by a country to address its own problems. However, they worsen the situation for other countries in the process.
While Xi did not name any country, China’s relationship with the US and India, has deteriorated in the recent past. It remains to be seen what might change in US-China relations under the presidency of Joe Biden, who took charge as the US president less than a week ago.
China has also faced a lot of flak from some quarters for its initial handling of COVID-19. It was first reported in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
President Xi said China will continue to take an active part in international cooperation on COVID-19. This is because containing the virus remains the most pressing task for the international community.
“Global public health governance needs to be enhanced. No global problem can be solved by any one country alone. We need to give full play to the role of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in building a global community of health for all,” Xi pointed out. He also said reforms of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) must be advanced.
President Xi advocated for addressing international affairs through consultation. “To build small circles or start a new Cold War, 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,” Xi pointed out.
He called for the entire world to join hands and letting multilateralism light the way towards ‘a community with a shared future for mankind’.
Stressing that China will continue to promote a new type of international relations, he said, “Zero-sum game or winner-takes-all is not the guiding philosophy of the Chinese people’.