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Border Wall Has ‘Stopped Everything’ Including COVID-19, Says Donald Trump

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President Donald Trump paid a visit to Arizona on Tuesday to mark the completion of hundreds of miles of the wall along the US-Mexico border, claiming it has “stopped everything” including COVID-19.

“Our border has never been more secure,” said Trump, who made cracking down on illegal immigration a linchpin of his 2016 presidential campaign.

“This is the most powerful and comprehensive border wall structure anywhere in the world,” Trump said at a roundtable briefing in Yuma on border security before a visit to a section of the wall. More than 200 miles (322 kilometres) of the wall has been built.

“It has technology that nobody would even believe, between sensors and cameras and everything else,” he said.

Trump said at least 450 miles of wall would be completed by the end of the year and “we’ll be very close to 500 miles.”

He also said the border wall has cut back on human trafficking and drug smuggling from Mexico and helped prevent a “coronavirus catastrophe on the southern border.”

“It stopped COVID, it stopped everything,” Trump said.

The past two months have seen the “lowest number of illegal border crossings in many years,” he added.

Trump’s visit to Arizona comes as the southwest state reported a record 3,591 cases of COVID-19 and a high of 42 deaths.

The trip to Arizona is taking place three days after Trump visited Tulsa, Oklahoma, to hold his first campaign rally since the pandemic began.

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Xi: China Firmly Supports Global Economic Recovery, Free Trade

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“It serves no one’s interest to use the pandemic as an excuse to reverse globalization and go for seclusion and decoupling,” he said in a video speech.

Xi reiterated China’s commitment to opening-up, adding that the country will foster a business environment that is governed by law and up to international standards.

He said China would also work toward realizing the potential of its enormous consumer market.

China has made continuous efforts to further open up its market, including further reducing the number of sectors and industries that were off-limits to both Chinese and overseas investors at the end of 2020.

Call for policy coordination

Noting the world is going through the worst recession since the end of the Second World War, Xi called for coordination in global macroeconomic policies in promoting sustainable and inclusive growth of the post-pandemic global economy.

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“We need to shift the driving forces and growth models of the global economy and improve its structure to set the course for long-term, sound and steady development of the world economy,” said Xi.

China has been the only major economy to achieve economic growth last year amid the grave and complex environment posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world’s second-largest economy brought its economic growth back to a pre-pandemic rate of 2.3 percent in 2020, while many economies remain mired in recession.

The World Bank estimated an uptick of 7.9 percent of China’s real GDP in 2021, compared with 3.5 percent in the U.S.

The global economy is on track to grow by 4 percent in 2021, assuming vaccination for COVID-19 becomes widespread throughout the year, according to the World Bank.

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Xi Jinping delivers speech at WEF Davos Agenda 2021 via video link

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Here are some highlights of Xi’s speech:

‘Winter cannot stop the arrival of spring’

Xi stressed that there is no doubt that humanity will prevail over the coronavirus and emerge even stronger from this disaster.

“The pandemic is far from over. The recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases reminds us that we must carry on the fight,” Xi said.

“Yet we remain convinced that winter cannot stop the arrival of spring and darkness can never shroud the light of dawn,” he said.

“Containing the coronavirus is the most pressing task for the international community,” Xi said in his speech.

It is important to scale up cooperation in vaccine development, production and distribution, and make it truly accessible and affordable to people across the world, he stressed.

‘Arrogance, prejudice and hatred ring alarm’

“Difference in itself is no cause for alarm,” Xi said. “What does ring the alarm is arrogance, prejudice and hatred.”

He warned against the attempt to impose a hierarchy on human civilization or to force one’s own history, culture and social system upon others.

“The right choice is for countries to pursue peaceful coexistence based on mutual respect and on expanding common ground while shelving differences, and to promote exchanges and mutual learning. This is the way to add impetus to the progress of human civilization,” Xi said.

‘Small circles,’ ‘new Cold War’ only lead to division, confrontation

To build small circles or start a new Cold War will only push the world into division and even confrontation, Xi warned.

He also warned against rejecting, threatening or intimidating others, willfully imposing decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions, as well as creating isolation or estrangement.

Safeguarding legitimate development interests of developing countries

The international community should keep its eye on the long run, honor its commitment and provide the necessary support to developing countries and safeguard their legitimate development interests, Xi stressed in his speech.

Equal rights, equal opportunities and equal rules should be strengthened so that all countries will benefit from the opportunities and fruits of development, Xi said.

Sci-tech innovation a key engine for human progress

“Scientific and technological innovation is a key engine for human progress, a powerful weapon in tackling many global challenges, and the only way for China to foster a new development paradigm and achieve high-quality development,” Xi said.

China will think and act with more openness with regards to international exchanges and cooperation on science and technology, join hands with all countries to create an open, fair, equitable and non-discriminatory environment for science and technology that is beneficial to all and shared by all, he pledged.

Click here for the live coverage of this event.

(With input from Xinhua)

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President Xi To Attend WEF Davos Agenda: Spokesperson

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Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the Davos Agenda of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on January 25 from Beijing via video link, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing that Xi will attend the meeting and deliver a special speech at the invitation of Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

In January 2017, Xi addressed the opening session of the WEF annual meeting, systematically expounding China’s views and propositions on economic globalization, and voicing strong support for economic globalization, Hua said.

Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading globally at present, the world economy is in deep recession, and global challenges are emerging one after another, Hua hoped and believed the upcoming WEF meeting would help build global consensus, rebuild global mutual trust, boost global cooperation, and contribute to solving the pressing global issues facing the international community.

China has always been committed to upholding and practicing multilateralism, promoting the construction of an open world economy, making economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all, and promoting the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind, she added.

Against the backdrop of the pandemic, China will continue to contribute its wisdom and strength to global cooperation against COVID-19, world economic recovery, meeting global challenges, and improving global governance, Hua said.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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