China’s Li Qiang to attend World Economic Forum in Davos as Beijing pushes for economic recovery

by Laura Zhou at

Chinese Premier Li Qiang will join world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week and visit Switzerland and Ireland as Beijing seeks to highlight its openness amid concerns over its slow economic recovery.

Li is expected to lead a large business and government delegation to the Swiss resort, where he will address the opening ceremony on Monday, according to Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning.

He will be the most senior Chinese official to join the annual gathering in person since President Xi Jinping attended in 2017.

Speaking at the daily press conference in Beijing, Mao said Li’s attendance came against the backdrop of global geopolitical and economic uncertainties.

Mao said China hoped to join other parties at the forum to “strengthen communication and enhance mutual understanding and trust to push forward the economic recovery of the world and to improve global economic governance”.

About 60 senior political leaders, as well as some 1,600 business leaders, are expected to attend the annual forum, which bears the theme “Rebuilding Trust”.

Among them are French President Emmanuel Macron, European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Argentina’s newly inaugurated president Javier Milei, Israeli President Isaac Herzog as well as leaders of a number of Middle Eastern countries. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan will also be there.

Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky will also address the gathering.