Summary of Opening Plenary with Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China

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Opening Plenary with Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China summary

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What a difference a generation makes! In the 1980s, America championed free trade, while China’s doors were closed to foreign investment. In an ironic twist, China has emerged as the guardian of globalization, while US president-elect Donald Trump endorses tariffs and protectionism. At the 2017 World Economic Forum, President Xi Jinping defends globalization while acknowledging its flaws. Peppering his speech with ancient Chinese wisdom and metaphors, Xi offers a to-do list – rather than a how-to list – for improving globalization. Yet he outlines his desired path, which includes plans to open China’s protected industries to foreign investment. getAbstract recommends Xi’s address to global leaders of business and politics: Could 2017 signify a changing of the guard?

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Xi Jinping is the president of the People’s Republic of China.


Today’s world is one of “contradictions.” While wealth is expanding and science and technology are advancing, rising inequality, conflict and poverty have led to global instability. Though many blame globalization for this upheaval, it isn’t the source of all the world’s problems. For example, warfare, not globalization, triggered the refugee crisis, and greed and inadequate regulatory oversight sparked the global financial crunch. Alas, “economic globalization is a double-edged sword.” When the global economy shrinks, there is less wealth to share among all people. But instead...

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