China’s prime minister has warned the world is entering a period of profound political and economic upheaval as the spectre of Donald Trump hung over the opening day of the country’s annual national people’s congress, The Guardian reports.
Speaking in the Great Hall of the People, Li Keqiang urged China to brace itself for “more complicated and graver situations” ahead, as a result of developments’ “interwoven risks and dangers both at home and aboard”.
“The factors that could cause instability and uncertainty are visibly increasing,” he warned in what appeared to be in part an indirect reference to Trump’s shock election.
Addressing about 3,000 delegates in the Tiananmen Square auditorium, Li sought to contrast China with Trump’s increasingly inward-looking America.
“In the face of profound changes in the international political and economic landscape, China will always stand on the side of peace and stability, will forever be committed to equity and justice, and will always work for world peace, contribute to global development, and uphold the international order.”
“We will … oppose protectionism in its different forms [and] become more involved in global governance,” Li added.
Kerry Brown, a professor of Chinese politics at King’s College London, said Trump’s election meant the world was looking to Beijing for leadership like never before.
“Now China is a stabiliser rather than a destabiliser. Suddenly these congresses are not just about domestic issues – they are actually a global power doing global things because of the space that America, Brexit and others have opened up around it. So they have a much much bigger potential impact.”
In what appeared to be another indirect swipe at Trump, who has threatened to withdraw from the Paris climate deal, Li said: “We played our part in ensuring that the Paris agreement was put into force”.
Li urged communist party members to throw their support behind president Xi Jinping as China faced this new era of uncertainty.
“We will rally even closer around the party Central committee, with comrade Xi Jinping at its core,” he said.