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Nation's successes to receive highlight at Davos

2014-01-21 13:09 China Daily Web Editor: qindexing

Two recent developments will help put China under the spotlight when the world's movers and shakers meet in the Swiss ski resort of Davos for four days starting on Wednesday.

One is China's highest leaders announcing in November that there will be decisive market-oriented programs to extend reform. The other is the frosty relationship between China and Japan, which has worsened since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a controversial shrine in Tokyo.

China seems well-prepared to defend its record at the annual meeting in Davos of the World Economic Forum and to reiterate its goal of peaceful development.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is due to go to Davos. Abe has confirmed that he, too, will attend.

Leaving aside concerns about tension between China and Japan, business leaders and analysts said China has been creating opportunities for the rest of the world by reshaping itself, and its new reform agenda continues that trend.

Among the optimists is Christoph Franz, chairman of the executive board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and the airline company's chief executive officer, who will be in Davos. China's role in global dialogue is a lot stronger than most people in the West seem to realize, he said.

Change in China over the past decade has been so monumental that it is hard for the West to comprehend, and the country's developments are a major topic wherever global issues are discussed, he said.

"I am very glad to see how China is opening up and how Chinese travelers are exploring the world. I can only strongly encourage this development, and that's not just because I am keen to grow our aviation business or to sell more tickets in China.

"International travel brings more peace, understanding and happiness to the world."

The World Economic Forum was first held 43 years ago. Its founder, Klaus Schwab, visited China in 1979, when the country was starting to open up, and the country's participation in the event has grown steadily over the years.

Gao Jifan, chairman and chief executive officer of Trina Solar Ltd, said that as China's role in the Davos forum has grown, many of the country's top companies have taken part in discussions that Western companies traditionally dominated.

However, China needs to put more effort into its participation in Davos, Gao said.

"Change is slow. Trina Solar, for example, is still the only Chinese company in the energy companies group," said Gao

"China is the world leader in solar, wind, hydropower and solar thermal, but in many institutional bodies globally, including the Davos forum, we don't yet have a proportionate presence," Gao said.

Because China's new leadership has comprehensive reform as its top priority, the implications of that for the world will be high on the agenda in Davos, he said.

Niels Christiansen, president and chief executive officer of Denmark-based Danfoss Group, which sells cooling and heating products, said China has been the center of attention for many years because of its increasing importance politically and economically.

"Talking about China's participation in the global dialogue, I believe that we should make a judgment only after comparing the current status with the situation three years, five years or 10 years ago," Christiansen said. "Then you'll realize China is getting a lot more actively involved in global dialogue."

Since China's new leaders took office early last year, Christiansen said, his company has taken note of the political trends, including financial and land finance reform and the drive against corruption.

"These measures are steering China toward healthier economic development, which is particularly important when the world economic outlook remains gloomy and no country is immune from rising risks."

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