While the jury is still out on what China´s role will be at the post-Brexit Trump era of global trade, president Xi Jinping did emerge as a global player at the World Economic Forum, tells leading economist Arthur Kroeber at Bloomberg.
The Chinese leader has sought to leverage his country’s economic strength into diplomatic clout with multinational initiatives such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and his signature plan to expand infrastructure along ancient trading routes to Europe. At Davos, Xi announced a global summit on the strategy for May, saying Chinese investment in more than 100 countries had surpassed $50 billion over the past three years.
Arthur Kroeber, Beijing-based founding partner and managing director at Gavekal Dragonomics, said that provided Xi a platform to demonstrate his overseas clout back home, where the Chinese leader is preparing for a mid-term reshuffle of the party’s leadership ranks.
“It’s in Xi’s interests to take every opportunity he can and present himself as this leader who is powerful, strong and visionary, to give himself some international prestige,” said Kroeber, author of “China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know.” Xi’s appearance at Davos, which has previous been attended by China’s premiers, is “consistent with the notion that Xi is now the only major authorized spokesman for the whole country.”
Xi urged other countries to also keep their doors open to Chinese investors, drawing another contrast with Trump, and said he had no plans to devalue the yuan in order to boost competitiveness.
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