Chinese president’s comments may be enough to tamp down escalating rhetoric

Xi Jinping filled his speech at an annual business summit on Tuesday with aphorisms about hard work and openness. “Heaven rewards the diligent,” the Chinese president said, applauding his country’s achievements. The march of history towards economic liberalisation was irreversible, he said at another point, restating China’s commitment to free trade.

Then he slipped in a Chinese proverb: “Heaven has its own law and those who embrace it will prosper.” The saying, meant to celebrate China’s unique blend of socialism and a market-driven economy, contained another message: that China would continue to play by its own rules.

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