BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping is “open” to meeting the team of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, the vice foreign minister said on Wednesday.
Xi will be the first Chinese president to attend the forum, which falls during his state visit to Switzerland between Jan. 15-18, Li Baodong said at a press briefing in Beijing, adding that the forum will focus on defending globalization and multilateralism.
“At Davos, as long as schedule permits, the Chinese side is open to bilateral meetings, arrangements,” said Li, when asked about a possible meeting with representatives of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s team at Davos, where Anthony Scaramucci will represent the incoming U.S. president.
Li admitted “discussions are underway” for a possible meeting and added Beijing and the incumbent U.S. administration have maintained “good cooperation” and “open channels of communication,” despite several recent rows over Trump’s position on Taiwan or his criticism of China’s trade policy.
Li said Xi’s presence at the Davos forum, where he will become the first Chinese president to deliver the inaugural address, will portray China as a responsible power.
In his speech, Xi will defend globalization and the existing system of global trade while rejecting protectionism.
He will lay out Beijing’s proposals to fix the global economy and his plans for the New Silk Route, the vice foreign minister said.
A day later, the Chinese president will visit the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, where he will deliver another address promoting multilateralism and the role of the UN in international relations.
Xi will also meet the new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and extend China’s support to the UN.