Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed plans Tuesday to further open up the country's economy, with measures including lowering import tariffs on autos, enforcing legal intellectual property of foreign groups and reducing duties on other consumer products.
In a speech Tuesday at a business conference, Xi made no direct mention of the dispute with President Donald Trump but pledged to open China's markets further and improve conditions for foreign companies.
Futures in NY erased earlier losses in the day to rise as much as 1.5% as Xi vowed to open sectors from banking to auto manufacturing, increase imports and lower foreign-ownership limits.
The world's top two economies had edged towards an all-out trade war after Trump administration last week published a list of about 1,300 Chinese exports worth US$ 50 billion that could be hit by United States tariffs because of Beijing's alleged theft of intellectual property and technology.
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U.S. -China have indulged in saber rattling over trade tariffs over the past month.
Bloomberg noted that China, the world's largest exporter, has always been the destination of choice for USA and European companies looking to outsource and offshore manufacturing, especially for labor-intensive consumer goods such as clothing, footwear and electronics.
Promising a "new phase of opening up", Xi told an economic forum on the southern island of Hainan that Beijing "does not seek a trade surplus" and hopes to increase imports. "We have a genuine desire to increase imports and achieve greater balance of global payments under the current account", Jinping said, as per a translation of the speech.
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"Hence the investment action will be a critical piece of this", he said. Xi's speech Tuesday lifted stocks in Asia and US equity futures.
The US is targeting what it says is the massive theft of American intellectual property, as well as restrictions on US goods entering the Chinese market, creating a large US trade deficit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit the country in November, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced Wednesday. Unlike most politicians who promise one thing and then do another after the election, Trump has followed through on his campaign promises on trade. But even as Trump cozied up to Xi and pressed China for help with derailing North Korea's nuclear ambitions, he has ratcheted up the economic pressure and threatened tariffs, a move opposed by many fellow Republicans. -China tariffs will explode into a full-scale trade war in a blow to global growth. We'll make it up to them.
"Mr Xi expressed his position today - he does not want a large-scale trade war with the United States". For instance, lowering import duties on cars will benefit relatively few United States companies, most of which already produce and ship their vehicles from within China. But analysts and veteran China watchers were less upbeat about Xi's remarks than Trump, pointing out that there was nothing new in the statement and the Chinese leader had previously promised reforms of the auto sector.
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"We will not bully our neighbours", the president said. Xi also used the speech to address global security and development, saying that "Cold War mentality and zero-sum games are becoming increasingly obsolete and outdated". "Arrogance or self-righteousness can only bump into walls at every turn".