China's Xi calls for greater role for G20 in global economic governance

Xi said the global economic outlook remained uncertain and public health emergencies "may very well recur" in future

  
A general view of the skyline of Pudongs Lujiazui Financial District on April 16, 2010 in Shanghai, China. The Shanghai World Expo will be held from May 1 to October 31 and is expected to attract 70 million visitors. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A general view of the skyline of Pudongs Lujiazui Financial District on April 16, 2010 in Shanghai, China. The Shanghai World Expo will be held from May 1 to October 31 and is expected to attract 70 million visitors. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images/Feng Li

China's President Xi Jinping on Monday called on the world to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination and bolster the role of the G20 in global economic governance as he pointed to a "rather shaky" recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum - a gathering usually held in a Swiss ski resort - Xi said the global economic outlook remained uncertain and public health emergencies "may very well recur" in future.

Xi, making his first appearance at the forum since his vigorous defence of free trade and globalisation in an address in Davos in 2017, struck a similar tone this time around, advocating multilateralism as the way out of current challenges in a roughly 25-minute speech.

"We should build an open world economy ... discard discriminatory and exclusionary standards, rules and systems, and take down barriers to trade, investment and technological exchanges," he said.

The G20 - an international forum grouping 19 of the biggest developed and emerging economies, plus the European Union - should be strengthened as the "main forum for global economic governance" and the world should "engage in closer macro-economic policy coordination", Xi added.

The international community should be governed in accordance with rules and consensus reached by all countries, instead of by one or several issuing orders, he said, without naming the countries.

(Reporting by Meg Shen and Tom Daly; Editing by Toby Chopra and Alex Richardson) ((tom.daly@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 5669 2119;))

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