Liu He, vice minister of China’s Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, poses for a portrait in Beijing, China. (Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg)

Xi’s Economic Adviser Liu He to Represent China at Davos Forum

(Bloomberg) -- President Xi Jinping’s top financial and economic adviser, Liu He, will represent China at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, next week.

Liu, the director of the Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs and deputy director of National Development and Reform Commission, will attend the gathering from Jan. 22-25, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement Monday.

Leading China’s delegation one year after Xi attended the forum to deliver a defense of globalism shows Liu’s continued ascent to the top ranks of Beijing’s economic policy making apparatus, after years of working mostly behind the scenes. Liu was elevated to the Communist Party’s 25-member Politburo during a twice-a-decade conclave in October.

Conversations at the Alpine resort town are likely to be dominated by U.S. President Donald Trump, who will attend this year and use the event to talk about his “America First” agenda. Xi last year called for rejecting trade war and protectionism in a rebuttal to Trump.

Meanwhile, International Monetary Fund First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton said in a speech to the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong Monday that China should be willing to loosen trade and investment restrictions if it seeks to play a leading role in globalization.

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