Home / Economy / Xi Jinping vows to open up China to trade and makes veiled criticism of Donald Trump

Xi Jinping vows to open up China to trade and makes veiled criticism of Donald Trump

President Xi tells foreign investors he will tighten laws to protect their intellectual property rights

China’s president Xi Jinping has issued a veiled criticism of Donald Trump during the opening of a major trade fair in Shanghai, saying China will reduce tariffs and “open up its market to the world”.
Mr Xi’s comments come as China and the US have hit each other with new trade tariffs worth around $360bn (£280bn) in total, as well as amid heightened tensions with some of China’s other trading partners.
Opening the China International Import Expo, or CIIE, Mr Xi hopes to show foreign companies that the ease and potential of exporting to Chinese consumers is shifting.
Mr Trump has railed against China for what he sees as intellectual property theft, entry barriers to US business and a wide US trade deficit. No senior US officials were set to attend the Shanghai event.
Mr Xi said the import expo showed China’s desire to support global free trade, adding that countries of the world must pursue open policies and oppose protectionism.
He said “economic globalization is facing setbacks, multilateralism and the free trade system is under attack, factors of instability and uncertainty are numerous, and risks and obstacles are increasing.”
Mr Xi also promised to accelerate opening of the education, telecommunications and cultural sectors, while protecting foreign companies’ interests and enhancing punitive enforcement for infractions of intellectual property rights.
China expects to import $30 trillion worth of goods and $10 trillion worth of services in the next 15 years, Mr Xi said.
But experts are concerned the expo will lack bold new policies, favouring symbolism over substance.
The EU, which shares US concerns over China’s trade practices if not Trump’s tariff strategy to address them, on Thursday called for China to take concrete steps to further open its market to foreign firms and provide a level playing field, adding that it would not sign up to any political statement at the forum.
Trump is expected to meet Xi this month, but has said that if a deal is not made with China, he could impose tariffs on another $267 billion in Chinese imports into the United States.
Presidents or prime ministers from 17 countries were set to attend the expo, ranging from Russia and Pakistan to the Cook Islands, though none from major Western nations. Government ministers from several other countries were also coming.

The Independent

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