Xi Jinping

As US looks inward, China seeks a lead role on world stage

With the U.S. increasingly looking inward and China eager to take a lead on the global stage, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday cast his country as a champion of free trade and stability, a rebuke to the isolationist urges that helped carry Donald Trump to power.

Some of the elites listening in Davos, Switzerland, hailed a statesmanlike, even Barack Obama-like speech from Xi as the first Chinese head of state to attend the World Economic Forum — even if it depicted a Chinese commitment to open markets that falls short of reality.

The speech, rife with metaphor and allusions to Ali Baba, Chinese proverbs and even Abraham Lincoln, highlighted a high-brow effort...

55°