BEIJING: In a veiled attack on his US counterpart Donald Trump after he raised tariffs on Chinese products, President Xi Jinping on Wednesday said that it is "foolish" to believe in "superiority of civilisations" as countries cannot go into isolation and close their doors from the rest of the world.
Xi made the comments at the opening session of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations being held here, his first comments after trade war between the US and China escalated after Trump last Friday increased the import duty on Chinese products worth $200 billion from 10% to 25%.
China retaliated by slapping tariffs on $60 billion worth of US imports.
“Civilisations will lose vitality if countries go back to isolation and cut themselves off from the rest of the world," Xi said.
Stating that no civilisation is superior to the other, Xi, also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, said, “It is foolish to believe that one's race and civilisation are superior to others, and it is disastrous to wilfully reshape or even replace other civilisations."
The event is attended by Chargé D'Affaires of the Indian Embassy Acquino Vimal, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. .
Xi also called the Asian countries to defend globalisation, which was under threat from Trump’s "America-first" policies.
“I hope all Asian countries will jointly promote economic globalisation that is open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all, and work together to eliminate poverty and backwardness in some countries," he said, adding that people of Asia expect open, integrated Asia.
“The people of Asian countries hope to distance themselves from being closed, and hope that all countries will adhere to the spirit of openness and promote policy communication, connectivity and smooth trade," he added.
In his address, Xi also mooted a tourism promotion plan with other countries to promote Asian cultures.
He said there would be no clash of civilizations as long as people are able to appreciate the beauty of them all.
Noting that the Asian civilisations have written a brilliant chapter in human civilisation, he said Asia takes up one third of the total land on Earth, has two thirds of the global population, consists of 47 countries and more than 1,000 ethnic groups.
Asian people have made incredible cultural achievements over the past thousands of years and they have started cultural exchanges and mutual learning since the early days, Xi said.