The founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, recently sat down for an interview with a Chinese state-owned media outlet and said China is a “role model” for other nations.
Schwab, 84, made the remarks during an interview with CGTN’s Tian Wei on the sidelines of last week’s APEC CEO summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
Schwab said he respects China’s “tremendous” achievements in modernizing its economy over the past 40 years.
“I think it’s a role model for a lot of countries,” Schwab said before qualifying that he felt each country should make its own decisions about which system it wants to adapt.
“I think we should be very careful when enforcing systems. But the Chinese model is certainly a very attractive model for a whole range of countries,” Schwab said.
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Schwab did not elaborate on which aspects of the Chinese model appealed to him and which would be beneficial for other countries.
China is ruled by the absolute rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which does not allow people to practice the religion or beliefs of their choice and has zero tolerance for dissent or criticism.
In 2014, the CCP announced a moral ranking system that ranks individuals, government organizations, and corporations based on social recognition. Comparisons have been made to environmental, social and governance or ESG scores used by major financial institutions and global organizations to create a sort of social credit system aimed at influencing behavior and transforming society.
Schwab wrote in 2019 that ESG scores are necessary for stakeholder capitalism.
“‘Stakeholder capitalism,’ a model I first proposed half a century ago, positions private corporations as stewards of society and is clearly the best answer to today’s social and environmental challenges,” he wrote. “We should seize this moment to ensure that stakeholder capitalism remains the new dominant model.”
In 2020, the Chinese government enforced a “national security” law for Hong Kong without accountability or transparency, which critics say gave the authorities an excuse to crack down on pro-democracy activists.
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More recently, Western countries have accused China of sending at least a million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities to detention camps, where many say they were tortured, sexually assaulted and forced to renounce their language and religion.
Beijing has dismissed these accusations as fabricated by Western nations.
Teny Sahakian of FOX Business contributed to this report.