Economy

China's Xi promises market opening as import fair begins

China's Xi promises market opening as import fair begins

President Xi Jinping on Monday will open a Shanghai import fair intended as a signal by China that its markets are open despite mounting criticism to the contrary and the worsening trade war with Washington.

Speaking at an worldwide 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'.

Ma's comments come as US President Donald Trump blames China for "unfair trade policies", which Trump claims to have caused a huge trade deficit for the US.

China and the USA are engaged in a trade war that's seen Washington impose tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods coming into the US.

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

"We will continue to broaden market access", he added.

Some Western diplomats and businesses have been quietly critical of the expo, arguing it is window dressing to what they see as Beijing's long-standing trade abuses.

"The CIIE will provide a platform for increasing India's exports to China".

In speeches made over the last two months, Ma has said that the U.S. will "suffer more" from the dispute, stating that the USA economy had benefited from its trade relationship with China.

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.

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"It seems like there were good statements and good headlines, but what we want are concrete actions and a concrete timetable of reform", said Carlo Diego D'Andrea, the Shanghai chairman for the European chamber.

China is hosting the first ever import expo that is attended by hundreds of companies and participants from over 130 countries among them Kenyan horticultural farmers and traders.

"It is important for us therefore to correct the existing trade imbalance to enable a fair share of the benefits of trade", he said.

He said China's $12 trillion-a-year economy is "a sea, not a small pond" and can withstand shocks.

China ranks 59th out of the 62 countries evaluated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in terms of openness to foreign direct investment.

He said that China's clear focus on importing more beneficiated and industrialized goods and services matches exactly Africa's current internal development and growth trajectories.

But the lure of China remains strong and the United States 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 has a very big market of 1.3 billion people, and we are sincerely opening the market to all countries".

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.

Trump, however, has in recent days raised hopes of a resolution to the trade spat, saying he was optimistic a deal could be reached soon.