Xi Vows to Expand Imports, Protect Intellectual Property

Alicia Cross
November 6, 2018

President Xi Jinping pledged Monday to open China's growing consumer market wider, seeking to defuse complaints Beijing abuses the global trading system.

China will launch its first-ever International Import Expo in Shanghai on Monday amid the backdrop of the Sino-US trade spat, Xinhua news agency reported.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates (C) talks with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim (L) before the opening ceremony for the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on November 5, 2018.

But, without naming the USA directly, Mr Xi also took issue with the way Mr Trump had handled the trade war between the world's two largest economies. Xi denounced the "law of the jungle" and "beggar-thy-neighbor" trade policies, the publication reported.

Jim Sutter, CEO of the U.S. Soybean Export Council, told Reuters on the sidelines of the Shanghai import fair that both countries understood the need to maintain their relationship.

"All countries should strive to improve their business environment and solve their own problems", Xi said.

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.

Presidents or prime ministers from 17 countries were set to attend the expo, ranging from Russian Federation and Pakistan to the Cook Islands, though none from major Western nations.

The CIIE was not originally conceived of as a response to the trade war between the United States and China.

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The U.S. accused Jinhua of stealing technology from an American rival, Micron.

He opened the first annual China International Import Expo in Shanghai, attended by many world leaders and major firms, with a speech acknowledging anger overseas over trade policies in the world's second-largest economy.

"Many may be attending because they think it is politically smart", said Zarit.

Mattis did meet Wei in Singapore on October 18 and told him that the world's two largest economies needed to deepen high-level ties to reduce the risk of conflict. In fact, the CIIE was originally supposed to help ease trade tensions by promoting China's openness to foreign companies - and, implicitly, signaling the country's willingness to rein in ballooning trade deficits with the United States and other partners.

He added that China will further lower tariffs and make it easier for imported goods to clear customs, without elaborating.

But none addresses USA complaints that prompted Mr. Trump to impose penalty tariffs of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports. The trade showdown between Beijing and Washington has led each side to slap hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on each others' goods.

Chinese leaders have rejected pressure to roll back plans such as "Made in China 2025", which calls for state-led creation of global champions in robotics and other fields.

The week-long fair, whose theme is New Era, Shared Future, was announced by Xi himself a year ago and has been described by the Ministry of Commerce as a "key approach to show China's firm support for free trade, economic globalization and market liberalization".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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