Chinese Premier warns of deepening trust deficit

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 16: China neither walks away from agreements or pulls out of organisations, nor does it ask other countries to pick sides, and it has always been a staunch supporter of multilateralism, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said here Tuesday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2024.

The theme of this year’s meeting, “Rebuilding Trust,” echoes well with people’s concerns, said Li as he delivered a special address to the event hosted by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, reported Xinhua.

Trust comes from our shared aspiration for a better future for mankind and from our common will to work together for it, Li said. 

All parties should discard prejudice, bridge divides, treat each other with sincerity, move in the same direction, and work together to address the trust deficit, said the Chinese premier.

Li made a five-point proposal on rebuilding trust, strengthening cooperation and promoting global economic recovery, the first of which is to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, firmly safeguard the multilateral trading system, and build greater synergy for world economic growth.

Li stressed that China is a country that attaches great importance to commitments, honouring its words with concrete actions all along. With greatest sincerity, utmost efforts and concrete results, China has proven consistently to the world that it is a country worthy of trust.

Over recent years, China has been an important engine of global development, and is now advancing Chinese modernisation on all fronts through high-quality development, Li said.

China has established sound and solid fundamentals in terms of the industrial base, production factors and innovation capacity, he said, adding its overall trend of long-term growth will not change and will provide continuous and strong impetus to the development of the world.

Li said China has a supersize market with rapidly unlocked demand, and it is also cultivating large-scale new growth drivers in areas such as a new type of urbanisation and green transition.

After the address, Li answered questions from Schwab on topics including Artificial Intelligence (AI) governance and the multilateral system.

He said true multilateralism should be built on basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. 

President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd, President of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam, King of Belgium Philippe, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Luc Frieden, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, World Intellectual Property Organisation Director General Daren Tang and about 1,500 political figures and representatives from the business community, academia and media organisations of various countries attended the event.