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Mr. Xi zooms into Davos

First published: SOAS China Institute 28/01/2020

Davos, with the theme this year of Rebuilding Trust, was diminished as an event, perhaps also as a concept. The curtain-raiser was the keynote address by Chinese President Xi Jinping on multilateralism, openness and inclusivity in a fractious, pandemic world.

The audience was invisible. The applause, if there was any, was silent. Like 2017, though, there was still fawning, this time as World Economic Forum founder, Klaus Schwab, bookended Xi’s address, thanking him at the end for reminding that we are ‘all part of a community with a shared future for humanity’. Not quite Xi Jinping verbatim, but close enough. Yet, what did Xi Jinping say that was noteworthy, and perhaps as importantly, what didn’t he say that we should note? Read on….