China

China's Xi tells World Economic Forum there are no winners in trade wars

China's President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during the first day of the World Economic Forum, on January 17, 2017 in Davos. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption President Xi Jinping said globalisation was not behind all the world's problems

China's President Xi Jinping has told the World Economic Forum that there are no winners when nations engage in a trade war.

Mr Xi also told delegates in Davos, Switzerland, that there was "no point" in blaming economic globalisation for the world's problems.

He said financial crises were caused by the excessive pursuit of profits.

His comments are being read as a rebuke to US President-elect Donald Trump, who has promised a protectionist approach.

He has criticised China for its exchange rate policy, among other things.

Mr Trump has previously threatened a 12% import tax to make the Chinese "stop playing games" - and upped that proposal during his presidential campaign to as much as 45%.

'Pandora's box'

Mr Xi is the first Chinese president to make a speech to the forum in the Swiss resort.

He pressed the case for free trade and said the world must "remain committed to promoting free trade and investment through opening up".

He added that "pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. While wind and rain may be kept outside, so are light and air".

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Mr Xi called for international co-operation to address issues like income disparity and inadequate global governance.

He also said that while some consider globalisation a sort of "Pandora's box" full of all the world's evils, it cannot be blamed for the plight of Syrian refugees or the 2008 financial crisis.

He told the forum that China's economy was expected to have grown 6.7% in 2016, despite the sluggish world economy.

Minutes before Mr Xi's speech, one of Donald Trump's closest advisers told the BBC that the US would win any trade war with China.

Anthony Scaramucci warned that if China chose to retaliate when the Trump administration imposed tariffs on imports, it would cost them "way more" than it would cost the US.

He added that the current trade deal was "more favourable to China than us".

Mr Scaramucci will enter the White House on 20 January as a senior adviser to the president.

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