China's Xi calls for unity in fighting coronavirus, climate change
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Countries must cooperate more closely in fighting the challenges of the pandemic and climate change and in supporting a sustainable global economic recovery, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday in an address to the World Economic Forum.
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"Humanity has only Earth and one future," Xi said in remarks from Beijing to a virtual gathering that is taking place in lieu of the annual in-person meetings in Davos, Switzerland, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Fighting the pandemic is the most urgent task facing the international community," Xi said, in urging that countries cooperate to conquer the disease, which first was reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan just over a year ago.
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"In particular, we should strengthen cooperation in vaccine research and development, production and distribution, so that vaccines can truly become a public good that are accessible and affordable to people in all countries," he said.
Much of what the Chinese leader said was a reiteration of Beijing's usual stance on issues such as closing the gap between wealthy and developing nations, and warning that countries should not meddle in other countries' affairs.
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While Xi did not mention recent U.S. policies directly, he did call for sticking to rules, embracing diversity and avoiding confrontations over trade and technology.
Relations between the U.S. and China have sunk to their worst in decades as former President Donald Trump imposed punitive tariffs and other sanctions to try to gain concessions on trade and counter perennial trade deficits.
"We should advocate fair competition, like competing with each other for excellence in a racing field, not beating each other on a wrestling arena," Xi said. "To engage in cliques, a new Cold War, exclusion, threats and intimidation against others, to warn of decoupling, cutting off supplies, sanctions at every turn . . . can only drive the world to division and even conflict," he said.
"A divided world cannot tackle the common challenges facing humanity, and confrontation will lead humanity to a dead end," Xi said.