Xi warning on decoupling, meddling by bossy nations


President Xi Jinping has called for greater global economic integration and warned against decoupling while calling on the United States and its allies to avoid "bossing others around."

Xi, in a speech at the Boao Forum on Asia, did not name the United States specifically, but said: "International affairs should be conducted by way of negotiations and discussions, and the future destiny of the world should be decided by all countries.

"One or a few countries shouldn't impose their rules on others and the world shouldn't be led on by the unilateralism of a few countries."

In a veiled critique of US efforts to reduce dependence on Chinese supply chains and withhold exports of goods like advanced computer chips, Xi said "any effort to build barriers and decouple works against economic and market principles and would only harm others without benefiting oneself."

Decoupling is a reference to fears US-Chinese tension over technology and security will split industries and markets into separate, less productive spheres with incompatible standards.

"What we need in today's world is justice, not hegemony," Xi said, adding that China would never engage in an arms race. "Bossing others around or meddling in others' internal affairs will not get one any support."

Xi spoke by video to more than 2,000 officials and business executives attending the conference in person in Hainan. Global leaders and the heads of the International Monetary Fund and United Nations attended the opening ceremony via video-link, according to state media.

After canceling the forum last year because of the coronavirus outbreak, China is signaling it is open for business with the resumption of the conference, billed as an Asian version of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Officials have in the past used the event to announce major steps to open up the financial system.

China is making a concerted effort to improve ties with US businesses in particular. A slew of American executives are participating in the forum, including Apple's Tim Cook, Tesla's Elon Musk, Blackstone Group's Stephen Schwarzman and Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio.

A key focus was on any new climate goals from Beijing, following promises from the United States and China to work together after a visit by John Kerry to Shanghai last week. Xi said: "We need to follow the philosophy of green development, advance international cooperation on climate change and do more to implement the Paris agreement on climate change."

He vowed that projects in the Belt and Road Initiative will be sustainable and "green should effectively become the strategy's background color."

US President Joe Biden will host a virtual climate conference on Thursday and Friday with world leaders. Xi will participate in the event, Dow Jones has reported.

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May 2021

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