Automotive Industry

China's Xi defends trade as Beijing seeks bolder global role

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday trumpeted the need for free trade and urged the world to "say no to protectionism," delivering a strong rebuke to isolationist tendencies that helped fuel Donald Trump's presidential election victory.

Focusing on the "double-edged" impact of economic globalization in a speech that alluded variously to Charles Dickens, Greek mythology and Chinese proverbs, the leader of the world's No. 2 economy stressed the need for stability, new vision and perspective that has left many citizens disenfranchised and worried about the future.

His visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is the first by a Chinese...