China Praises Modi’s Davos Speech on Threats of Protectionism
China on Wednesday, 24 January, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his speech at Davos where he described protectionism being "as dangerous as terrorism", which some delegates took as a swipe at US President Donald Trump's America First agenda.
China also evinced interest in enhancing cooperation with India to strengthen the globalisation process.
Modi, the first Indian prime minister to address the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual summit in Davos, talked about grave concerns facing the world, including terrorism and climate change on Tuesday.
Many countries are becoming inward focused and globalisation is shrinking and such tendencies can’t be considered lesser risk than terrorism or climate change.PM Narendra Modi
In a media briefing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said:
I noticed that Prime Minister Modi made some remarks on protectionism and his remarks show that globalisation is the trend of the times and serves the interests of all the countries including developing countries and the fight against protectionism and promoting globalisation.
She also said that China would like to work with other countries including India to strengthen globalisation process for the benefit of all countries.
Her surprise comments were followed by official media giving big play to Modi's speech at the World Economic Forum at Davos on Tuesday.
Some of the dailies like Global Times carried the photo of his address on the front pages.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of globalisation, China has emerged as the world's factory in the last three decades posting double-digit GDP growth rate for years while thriving on massive exports to all parts of the world.
China is also firmly opposed to Donald Trump’s 'America First' policy which was the main theme of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Davos speech last year.
China and India share a lot of common interests. China would like to enhance coordination and cooperation with all countries including India to steer the economic globalisation towards benefiting world economic growth and well-being of all countries.Hua Chunying, Spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry
Answering a question that Modi's speech "echoed" last year's speech by Xi at the same forum where he made a pitch for globalisation, Hua said Xi called for moving globalisation to a more open, inclusive, universal and balanced direction.
Asked whether the common position of India and China in opposing protectionism could help improve strained bilateral ties, Hua said "Our position is clear. India is a big neighbour of China. As the two largest developing countries and as two close neighbours, of course we hope that we can maintain steady development of bilateral relations. It serves the interests of our two sides".
We look forward to working with India to enhance our communication and our mutual trust, properly handle our differences and ensure sound and steady development of our bilateral ties. I believe this is the aspiration of the people of our countries.Hua Chunying, Spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry
(With inputs from PTI.)