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Former world leaders weigh in on China, Trump effect at World Chinese Economic Summit

Reporter: Rian Maelzer 丨 CCTV.com

11-18-2016 00:29 BJT

Former presidents and prime ministers met with business leaders, academics and politicians at the World Chinese Economic Summit in Malaysia on Thursday. The optimism about the prospects for greater economic cooperation have been tempered by anxiety over growing political tensions. Delegates at the event have also expressed concerns over the United States' possible backtracking on globalization under Donald Trump's incoming administration.

The line up of heavy hitters at the World Chinese Economic Summit included the former leaders of Indonesia, Pakistan, Australia and the Taiwan region. They shared insights on China’s growing global stature, its economic outlook and the Belt and Road, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank initiatives. But anxiety about the impact of Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections on trade liberalization was also a common theme.

"With the increasing likelihood that the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP will not be coming into existence it is even more imperative that the regional comp economic partnership, RCEP, with china as the main anchor be expeditiously concluded and possibly expanded," Former Thai Deputy Prime Minsiter Professor Surakiart Sathirathai said.

Former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged China to exercise stronger leadership on global issues like climate change, UN reform and world trade.

"We all have much riding on the success of China's economic reforms recently undertaken by president Xi Jinping. China continues to be a driving force that is pulling the world economy today just as it helped pull the world out of the financial crisis in 2008," Former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said.

Speakers were universally enthusiastic about the Belt and Road initiative. But some cautioned that the benefits of individual projects must be seen to trickle down to ordinary people in participating countries.

Pakistan has been among the early beneficiaries of "One Belt, One Road".

"The Pakistan-China relationship has always been our strongest and most enduring relationship. It is driven by peace harmony mutual respect and commonality of interests," Former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said.

Aside from sharing insights, the summit will also hope to have helped build business connections between the Chinese diaspora and China, ones that will lead to more trade and investment in years ahead.

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