China & Russia’s presidents deliver address at St Petersburg economic forum

World Today

A strong case against protectionism was made in Saint Petersburg.

The presidents of China and Russia each addressed an international economic forum.

CGTN’s Aljosa Milenkovic reported from the event.

Over 17-thousand people came to the 23rd Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum. All of them were drawn in and focused on its key event, the plenary session. There, some of the world leaders talked about their views about the world’s future.

In attendance were U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, Slovakian PM, Peter Pellegrini, PM of Armenia, Nikol Pashanyan, and the two biggest stars of the event, Russian and Chinese Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.

The first speaker was Vladimir Putin, the event’s host. In his speech, he focused on the need for more equality in global trade and slammed those who opted for sanctions and trade wars as tools of pressure for imposing their vision onto the world.

“It is how the United States, I regret to say that, acts today – it extends their jurisdiction across the whole world,” said Putin. “This model not only contradicts the normal logic of communication between the nations in the reality of the complex, multi-polar world.”

And then it was the time for Chinese President Xi Jinping to take to the stage. He focused on the welfare of the people and the need to eradicate poverty around the world. “We will resolutely advance economic globalization, uphold the multilateral trading system, and remain committed to addressing the imbalance and inequality facing global economic development,” vowed Xi.

It was questions around energy, globalization and sustainable development that were the focus of this year’s plenary session. The speeches given by the presidents of China and Russia emphasized the need for global change in order to achieve those goals. The hand of peace was extended to leaders at the forum. The question was whether and who will accept it.