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China’s Xi calls for unity, warns against starting ‘new Cold War’

Addressing world leaders at Davos forum, Chinese leader says confrontation will lead to 'dead end'

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping warned global leaders at an all-virtual Davos forum yesterday against starting a "new Cold War", and urged global unity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

"To build small cliques or start a new Cold War, to reject, threaten or intimidate others... will only push the world into division," said Mr Xi, adding that confrontation will lead to a "dead end".

In a veiled swipe at moves targeting China by the previous US administration under Mr Donald Trump, Mr Xi said confrontation "will always end up harming every nation's interests and sacrificing people's welfare".

He also reaffirmed Beijing's ambitious climate pledges to slash carbon emissions by 65 per cent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 - significant commitments as China emits a quarter of the world's greenhouse gases.

"Meeting these targets will require tremendous hard work from China.

"But we believe that when the interests of the entire humanity are at stake, China must step forward, take action and get the job done," he said.

On the economic front, Mr Xi called on the world to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination and bolster the role of the G-20 in global economic governance as he pointed to a "rather shaky" recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the economic outlook remained uncertain and public health emergencies "may very well recur" in future.

Mr Xi, making his first appearance at the forum since his vigorous defence of free trade and globalisation in Davos in 2017, struck a similar tone, advocating multilateralism as the way out of current challenges.

"We should build an open world economy... discard discriminatory and exclusionary standards, rules and systems, and take down barriers to trade, investment and technological exchanges," he said.

The G-20 should be strengthened as the "main forum for global economic governance" and the world should "engage in closer macro-economic policy coordination", Mr Xi added.

The international community should be governed in accordance with rules and consensus reached by all countries, instead of by one or several issuing orders, he said, without naming the countries. - AFP, REUTERS