China will lower import tariffs, continue to broaden market access: Xi Jinping



"Risks and challenges have been growing" as "unilateral trade protectionism has been emerging", Xi said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the first China International Import Expo, adding his country is eager to "voluntarily open its markets to the world".

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.

Speaking at an global business fair in Shanghai, Xi Jinping criticised what he termed Washinton's "law of the jungle" and "winner takes all" approach to trade which, he said, leads to 'a dead end'.

The shopping extravaganza, nicknamed Singles' Day, has in recent years placed emphasis on cross-border e-commerce, where customers in China are able to enjoy hefty discounts on foreign-branded products.

Xi spoke Monday at the China International Import Expo, which is being attended by 3,600 companies and foreign leaders including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russian Federation.

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The U.S. trade deficit with China, which Trump has blamed for a variety of economic ills, has helped create jobs in the U.S. and without it the country would have big problems, Ma added.

William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said he was hoping for more change.

He said China would continue to promote globalization and pledged to boost domestic consumption, strengthen intellectual property enforcement and advance trade talks with Europe, Japan and South Korea.

But US officials say that approach amounts to China buying its way out of trouble with a short-term import surge rather than real change, and Washington snubbed the gathering by not sending high-level representation.

"As globalization deepens, the practices of law of jungle and victor take all are a dead end", Xi told the gathering in Shanghai, which featured more than 3,600 companies from 172 countries, regions and organizations.

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China is using the Expo to showcase its willingness to open up its market to other countries.

The US has hit about half of Chinese imports into the US with tariffs. While the American President has floated the possibility of a deal when he meets his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in coming weeks, the two countries remain far apart on everything from market access to government support for state-run enterprises. No senior USA officials were set to attend the Shanghai event. The Swiss government said in a statement to Reuters on Sunday that his visit had never been confirmed, and that Secretary of State Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch would represent Switzerland.

The visist comes on the heels of some unease after President Uhuru hinted at protective tarriffs agaisnt Chinese fish exports to Kenya with Beijing ambassador to Kenya talking of a trade war. From the United States, some 136 exhibitors will attend, including Google, Dell Inc, Ford and General Electric.

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