China’s Xi Jinping promises lower tariffs, more imports

November 5, 2018 (EIRNS)-In his keynote speech opening the China International Import Expo (CIIE), President Xi Jinping announced that China was open for business.

U.S. President Donald Trump has railed against China for what he sees as intellectual property theft, entry barriers to U.S. business and a gaping trade deficit.

Pakistan is confronted with current account deficit and the CIIE "is a great opportunity for Pakistan to have a pavilion where we will be exhibiting our exports", Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said. Wang pledged that China will import $24 trillion worth of goods in the next 15 years.

But a deal with Washington "will require significant measures by authorities to reduce bilateral trade imbalances and to protect USA intellectual property rights", he said.

China's middle class is almost as large as the entire population of the United States.

In his opening speech, Xi sought to reassure the world that China's growing prosperity was not a threat but presented business opportunities, and that Beijing remained committed to the reform and opening up policy initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978.

"As globalization deepens, the practices of law of the jungle and victor take all are a dead end", Xi said.

A handful of countries are being represented by a single exhibitor selling one product.

Beijing has this year rolled back rules that require foreign investors to establish joint ventures with Chinese firms in the auto industry and financial sector, allowing companies like JP Morgan and BMW for the first time to set up local ventures with majority control.

He said there was every reason to be fully confident in the future of the Chinese economy, which in recent years has slowed down.

The American president has this year targeted allies and adversaries alike, threatening tariffs on all of China's exports, proposing levies on European car-makers and saying he could leave the WTO, which he has described as "unfair".

The import expo builds on those efforts.

"It is the greatest challenge for China" to transform itself into an importing nation, Ma said.

Instead, people involved in planning meetings have said they were anticipating an event long on symbolism.

Already the No. 1 market for its Asian neighbors, China is promoting its "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.

More than 3,600 companies from 172 countries and organizations will showcase their development achievements and worldwide image at the 4-section cover leaf expo. Government ministers from several other countries were also coming, but no senior USA officials were set to attend.

The Star Kenya reports that during the bilateral talks, Uhuru expressed concern about the trade imbalance and demanded access to the Chinese market for Kenya's produce.

Khan hailed China's reform and opening up policy which provides Chinese industries a better environment to compete in global trade.

Qatargas and China's CNPC, for example, are expected to sign a supply contract that formalizes a billion deal agreed in September, according to an energy executive with direct knowledge of the matter.

Desperate for a solution to the trade war that is weighing on China's economy, there is a view in China that a Democrat-led House might mean a softer stance against Beijing.

Vanessa Coleman

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