By Yanan WANG, Joanna CHIU
Chinese President Xi Jinping criticised protectionism on Monday at a summit positioning Beijing as a champion of globalisation, but several European nations spoilt attempts to win full backing for his trade agenda.
Xi addressed almost 30 leaders on the second day of a forum on his new Silk Road plan, a huge infrastructure project intended to revive ancient land and sea trade routes from Asia to Europe and Africa.
"Globalisation is encountering some headwinds," Xi told leaders from countries ranging from Spain to Turkey, Russia and Pakistan at a convention centre near the Great Wall on the outskirts of Beijing.
"We need to seek results through greater openness and cooperation, avoid fragmentation, refrain from setting inhibitive thresholds for cooperation or pursuing exclusive arrangements, and reject protectionism."
He compared countries to "swan and geese" that can "fly long and safely through winds and storms because they move in tandem and help each other as a team".
The Chinese leader is using the international gathering to promote his signature foreign policy project, the One Belt, One Road initiative.
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