Mon, Sep 05, 2016 - Page 16 News List

China’s Xi somber on world economy, citing protectionism

Reuters, HANGZHOU, China

The global economy is being threatened by rising protectionism and risks of high leverage are accumulating, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) said at the opening of a two-day summit of leaders from G20 nations.

With the summit tucked in between Britain’s surprise vote in June to exit the EU and the US presidential election in November, G20 leaders are expected by observers to mount a defense of free trade and globalization and warn against isolationism.

The global economy is “at a crucial juncture,” Xi said, hemmed in by sluggish demand, financial market volatility and feeble trade and investment.

GLOBAL DRIVERS

“Growth drivers from the previous round of technological progress are gradually fading, while a new round of technological and industrial revolution has yet to gain momentum,” he said.

China is keen to keep the summit focused on economic issues and to prevent other disputes from overshadowing it.

TALKS WITH TURNBULL

Xi yesterday held talks with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and told him he hoped Australia would continue to provide a fair, transparent and predictable policy environment for foreign investors.

China was angered when Australia blocked the A$10 billion (US$7.57 billion) sale of the country’s biggest energy grid to Chinese bidders last month.

China has accused Australia of bowing to protectionist sentiment in blocking the bid for Ausgrid, as well as an earlier one by a China-led consortium to buy cattle company Kidman & Co.

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