Xi Jinping's Davos Speech Showed the World Has Turned Upside Down

Recalling Xi's addresses from the APEC meetings in the Philippines in 2015, to the G20 Hangzhou summit in 2016 and now to the 2017 Davos forum, Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, said he saw China's increasingly mature role on the world stage, and growing leadership and accountability as a big country. Referring to the threat of protectionism, he predicted that "nobody will emerge as a victor in a trade war". Xi praised G20 initiatives that improve global economic governance of financial flows and banking regulations, but he and other world leaders ought to be rightly anxious about Trump's likelihood of tearing down the Dodd-Frank financial regulations that had put stronger oversight on American banks and investment firms.

Xi also hinted at previous US follies of "chasing reckless profits" and poor financial market regulations that ushered in the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis. "Some people blame economic globalization for what has gone wrong in our world".

In the coming five years, China is expected to import 8 trillion USA dollars of goods, attract 600 billion dollars of foreign investment, and make 750 billion dollars of outbound investment, said the president, adding that Chinese tourists will make 700 million overseas visits.

To ward against another 1930s-like depression of beggar-thy-neighbor policies, USA presidents have used monetary policy to shore up global trade. "We should not develop the habit of retreating to the harbour whenever encountering a storm".

At the event, Mr. Scaramucci told reporters that Donald Trump wants to work with China.

Trump's America seems more like the irresponsible and bystander state and China appears more like the guarantor and bulwark of global economic stability through a shared vision of increased economic cooperation and commitment to inclusive growth.

Trump is not the only one calling for a departure from a consensus on free trade that's prevailed throughout the Western world since the end of the Cold War.

In fact, on the same day Xi waxed poetic about interconnectedness and free trade at Davos, British Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech revealing that the United Kingdom will make a fairly clean break from the European Union and sail into uncharted territory in its trade relationship with Europe. "Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you can not escape from", Xi said.

But for Roubini, one thing is clear: This will be a critical year for U.S. China relations.

Ma met with Trump earlier this month, and in his Davos remarks he called Trump "open-minded". But it's desire to push for a world of free trade and protect its status as the world's greatest exporter is causing a reversal in the rhetoric on trade that has often existed between the West and China.

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