DANANG, Vietnam -- China's President Xi Jinping emphasized multilateralism in his keynote speech before global business leaders on Friday. His comments came immediately after U.S. President Donald Trump pushed for bilateral trade arrangements as opposed to multilateral schemes, including those of the World Trade Organization.
"Openness brings progress," Xi declared. He repeatedly called for support for economic globalization through multilateral schemes for free trades. "We must support multilateralism and practice open regionalism to allow developing economies to benefit more from international trade and investment," he said, drawing big applause among the audience, which comprise many from China and other emerging economies. Xi also reiterated his aim to drive the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) initiative that China has been promoting for over a decade.