China won’t close its door to any country: Xi Jinping

Pauline Gross
November 5, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping and foreign leaders who are attending the first China International Import Expo Monday toured around the Country Pavilion for Trade and Investment, which showcased development achievements and feature products from more than 80 countries.

In a veiled reference to the tariffs Trump has leveled against his country's exports, Xi told the inaugural China International Import Expo on Monday that "the practices of beggar-thy-neighbor" would lead to global stagnation.

But he also pushed back at the foreign pressure in comments clearly aimed at US President Donald Trump, who has launched a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

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.

Trump has announced boosted tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, while China has countered with $110 billion in tariffs on US products.

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.

But, without naming the United States directly, Mr Xi also took issue with the way Mr Trump had handled the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

China is taking solid steps to expand financial opening-up, continue to advance opening-up in the service sector, deepen opening-up in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and accelerate the opening-up process of sectors including telecommunications, education, medical treatment and culture, Xi said.

"They should not hold a flashlight in hand, doing nothing but highlight the weaknesses of others and not their own". However, the comments were short on specifics.

Kenneth Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said the association welcomed the fresh promise to strengthen intellectual property protections.

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Foreign businesses have complained about a range of preferential polices that benefit Chinese firms, requirements that foreign companies form joint ventures with Chinese partners, forced technology transfers, rampant intellectual property violations and various restrictive red tape measures.

"For my understanding, it's the greatest challenge for China".

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks at the opening ceremony of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on November 5, 2018.

The Chinese president said China would push forward multilateral and bilateral cooperation in pursuit of development.

China, in turn, has imposed levies on $110 billion of U.S. imports.

But the lure of China´s market remains strong and the USA contingent includes even tech giants such as Facebook, which is blocked in China, and Google, which pulled out years ago over censorship and cyber-attacks.

China already is the No. 1 market for its Asian neighbors and is promoting its multibillion-dollar "Belt and Road" initiative to expand commerce by building ports, railways and other infrastructure across 65 countries from the South Pacific through Asia to Europe and Africa.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates will join a business forum, but the touchy optics of attending a China import expo at a time of trade tensions means few big-name American CEOs are confirmed.

Mr Trump raised hopes of an agreement on trade last week after he said the sides had a "very good" phone conversation that had a heavy emphasis on trade.

Other reports by GizPress

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