Xi Jinping warns against protectionism


Jubeir says US has ‘most to lose’ from JASTA


Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a stark warning against protectionism on Tuesday, as he championed globalization at a time it faces a major backlash in the West.
He was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, as the first Chinese president to address the annual meeting of movers and shakers.
“We should say ‘no’ to protectionism,” Xi told delegates at the meeting’s opening plenary session.
“Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. Wind and rain may be kept outside, but so is light and air.”
The president said globalization has caused issues but that these need to be dealt with.
“(There is) no point in blaming economic globalization for the world’s problems… It is true that economic globalization has created new problems, but this is not justification to write off economic globalization altogether,” he said. “We should adapt to, and guide economic globalization.”
Xi’s speech had been highly anticipated, especially ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president on Friday.
In what has been interpreted by some as a message to the new US president, Xi told the Annual Meeting in Davos: “No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.” He added that inequality is the “biggest challenge facing world today”.
Meanwhile, Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, said the US has the most to lose from the controversial Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) bill, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has said.
The bill’s limitation of sovereign immunities would leave the US open to being sued by almost every country on the planet, Adel Al-Jubeir warned at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
“The country that has the most to lose from dilution of sovereign immunities is the US itself. And American officials know this. Because America has the largest footprint in the world, they operate all over the world, they’re fighting wars all over the world,” he told the WEF meeting on Tuesday.
“If that principle is eroded, then the US could be sued in virtually every country in the world.”
“When you dilute sovereign immunities, you turn the international order into the law of the jungle. For example, allowing a country to use your airspace in warfare could subject you to a lawsuit. Using drones could subject you to lawsuit,” he said.
“Our hope is that wisdom will prevail and the Congress will do the right thing.”
The minister was addressing the 47th WEF in Davos, the annual meeting of global movers and shakers. The meeting concludes Friday — the same day Donald Trump is set to be sworn in as US president. Al-Jubeir said he expects the US to go through “a period of engagement with the world” under the new administration.
He would like to see “more American engagement in the world, more American engagement in the region, rebuilding of relationships with allies, a serious effort to destroy ISIS, a serious effort to contain Iran. And I think the change will happen.”
The minister also used the Davos platform to express his concern over Iran’s activities in the Middle East region, saying that Tehran should be held responsible for its “support of terrorism”.—Arab News

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