Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2017. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping called the World Economic Forum (WEF) the "weathervane" of global economy during a meeting with WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab here on Tuesday.
The WEF gathers thousands of government, business and civil society leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos at the beginning of every year to shape global, regional and industry agendas. This year's meeting, which takes place from Tuesday to Friday, is themed "Responsive and Responsible Leadership."
"The theme sticks to the current global situation and identifies the key to getting out of troubles," Xi said, adding that, since the establishment of the WEF, its status and influence has been rising day by day as it upholds the spirit of innovation, maintains its vitality and pushes for discussion on common global issues.
Noting that cooperation between China and the WEF has become increasingly substantial and fruitful, the president stressed that "we must send positive signals together and boost confidence in the process of economic globalization."
Formerly known as the European Management Forum, the WEF was founded by Schwab in 1971 and it started focusing on global issues in 1987. Since 1979, China has been sending delegations to the forum, which claims to be committed to "improving the state of the world."
"The prospect of cooperation should be rosy," Xi said, pointing out that China has hosted "Summer Davos" meetings for 10 years, more and more Chinese enterprises are gaining WEF membership, and Chinese elements are becoming increasingly prominent at Davos.
Hailing Xi's keynote speech as a highlight in the WEF history, Schwab said that Xi's "thought-provoking" speech will chart the course of global economy and that the WEF is willing to further strengthen its partnership with China.
Earlier on Tuesday, Xi, the first Chinese president to attend the Davos forum, addressed the opening plenary of the 2017 annual meeting, and his speech immediately made headlines worldwide. As Schwab said before Xi's speech, "In a world marked by great uncertainty and volatility, the world is looking to China."
After their meeting, Xi and Schwab witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between China's National Reform and Development Commission and the WEF.
Xi arrived in Switzerland on Sunday for a state visit and the Davos meeting. In his first overseas trip in 2017, he will also travel to Lausanne and Geneva to visit the International Olympic Committee, the World Health Organization and the UN Office at Geneva.