'Current multilateral trade system has to be protected.” - Xi Jinping | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

20 June, Thursday


'Current multilateral trade system has to be protected.” - Xi Jinping

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In back-to-back speeches at an investment conference Friday, the leaders of Russia and China cast themselves as the champions of free markets and global trade, an overt show of opposition to what they portrayed as the United States’ retreat into protectionism with sanctions and tariffs.

President Xi Jinping of China spoke expansively about his country’s firm support for globalization and open borders, saying that “we all must work to bring about a harmonious world.”

In his speech, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia took a much darker turn, hinting that trade wars could turn into real wars. He argued that the United States, after decades of “pretending” to promote free markets, had been turning its back on them because powerful economic competitors had emerged, threatening America’s dominance, The New York Times reports.

Together, the two leaders’ remarks highlighted the strengthening ties between Russia and China as their relations with the United States sour.

On Friday, Mr. Xi argued that nations must preserve and improve trade rules rather than throw them out over what he suggested were minor irritants.

“If you are unhappy with fleas in your fur coat, you should not throw the fur coat in the oven,” he said, according to an official translation. “The current multilateral trade system has to be protected.”

Certainly, not everyone benefits from a level playing field, Mr. Xi added wryly, arguing in defense of the world’s existing trade rules that allow for low tariffs, once propped up by the United States.

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