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WEF expects China to be "responsible, responsive" global leader

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

01-15-2017 10:09 BJT

Full coverage: Xi Visits Switzerland, Attends WEF Annual Meeting

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GENEVA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), has expressed his expectations of China becoming a "responsible and responsive" global leader amid myriad uncertainties and de-globalization and protectionist trends in the world.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), is interviewed by Xinhua News Agency in Geneva, Switzerland, on Jan. 10, 2017.(Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), is interviewed by Xinhua News Agency in Geneva, Switzerland, on Jan. 10, 2017.(Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)

"I think it is very important to have China represented as a responsible and responsive leadership country in the world," Schwab said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua lately.

At the invitation of Schwab, Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the WEF's 47th annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 17.

Xi will deliver a speech at the opening ceremony, and hold discussions with Schwab and guests from business, media and academic circles.

Calling China "a strong geoeconomical and geopolitical power," he said that "in the present global situation where we face the danger of de-globalization and disintegration of global cooperation, I think his (Xi's) voice is particularly important."

He explained that a responsible and responsive leader should not only be "a country which is responsive to the changes, but a country which also presents an attitude and policies that keep the world open."

He said he would pay special attention to China's vision to deliver in the upcoming annual meeting, in relation to the future of global cooperation.

Schwab founded the World Economic Forum in 1971, initially known as the European Management Forum. In 1987, the forum changed its name to the World Economic Forum and sought to broaden its vision by focusing on international concerns.

China first sent a delegation to the world-famous meeting in 1979, with subsequent participations marked by an incremental and positive assertiveness.

Schwab recalled his first contact with China almost 40 years ago.

"In 1978, when I first read about the opening-up and reform policies of Deng Xiaoping, I feel China will certainly become a major nation in the global community. For this reason, we have established since 1979 the first contact by inviting a Chinese delegation to Davos," He said.

Compared with China's performance in the late 1970s when it was coming out of isolation and trying to develop better knowledge about the rest of the world, he lauded that "China is today much more assertive."

"China has a lot of reasons to be proud of its development," he added.

While applauding the many social and economic achievements China has made since then, Schwab also lauded that strategies have been implemented in the country to enforce new technologies, such as the initiative of mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

"We not only see the curiosity and interest, but also readiness of China to prepare itself for the fourth industrial revolution," he noted, adding that "China is a very much forward-looking country."

The WEF annual meeting will kick off next week under the theme "Responsive and Responsible Leadership." This year's meeting will unite a record 3,000 government, business and civil society leaders, including over 50 heads of state and government, along with 1,800 business leaders from all industries.

Four main tracks will be explored by stakeholders, namely re-imagining global cooperation, revitalizing the global economy, reforming capitalism and preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

"We hope that China will engage on an ongoing basis to elaborate solutions for tomorrow," Schwab said.

"China can contribute to the world as a locomotive but also as a responsive and responsible leadership," he added.

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