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Chinese President Xi Jinping has delivered a strong defence of globalization at the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos. This comes in the wake of rising calls for protectionism in various parts of the developed world, including the US, which can threaten global trade and growth. China has been the biggest beneficiary of globalization in the last few decades and it’s encouraging to see it posing as a champion of globalization—a space the US now seems determined to vacate.
However, China isn’t practicing what it preaches. It should address the issues raised by the US and other multinational companies, such as providing a level playing field to foreign capital. And the incoming Donald Trump administration must realize that slapping higher duties or stopping Chinese imports will only raise costs and force companies to go for increased automation. Leaders from both countries will have to work together and address these basic issues to avoid a trade war, with its consequences for the entire world.