Chinese President Xi Jinping is about to take center stage at the ultimate gathering of globalists from the world over, and he hopes to make his country the middle of global attention while he's at it.
Xi will speak before elite business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos next Tuesday, just days before populist President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office in the United States. Beijing will use the appearance in Switzerland to favorably contrast Xi and China with Trump and the United States.
Already before taking office, Trump has leaned hard on American companies to keep operations in the U.S., and he has chosen vocal China critics for top positions on trade and defense. In contrast, Xi is expected in his opening plenary speech to play up China as a proponent of globalization.
"I think China's trying to send a signal that it's the world's most responsible stakeholder. The U.S. by contrast is a greater source of anxiety, tensions and volatility," said Scott Kennedy, deputy director, Freeman Chair in China Studies, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
"The growing tensions between the U.S. and China gives this a bigger, larger significance than it otherwise would have," he said.