President Xi outlines “new phase of opening up”

President Xi outlines “new phase of opening up”

10/04/18

President Xi Jinping has pledged to further open up China’s economy in a speech which seemed aimed at countering US protectionism.

Speaking at the Boao economic forum, President Xi said China will ease restrictions on auto imports and will give foreign companies greater access to its financial services market, The Straits Times reports.

“China’s door of opening up will not be closed and will only open up even wider,” President Xi said.

According to Reuters, the speech was an attempt to defuse an escalating trade dispute with the United States, which has implemented tariffs aimed at Chinese imports.

In comments clearly aimed at the US, President Xi added that “Cold War mentality and zero-sum game thinking are out-dated,” and that there is a need for “dialogue rather than confrontation.”

The speech also defended China’s recent record on the world stage and its flagship foreign policy item, the Belt and Road Initiative, The South China Morning Post reports.

While President Xi has pledged to open up China’s finance sector to foreign companies in the past, the reference to auto imports suggests a diplomatic development between Beijing and Washington.

Citing a White House official, Bloomberg reported that ‘the Chinese president’s reference to autos following Trump’s Twitter complaints about the issue appeared to be an opportunity to develop trust between the two sides.’

The prospect of warming relations between China and the US enlivened Asian markets, which bounced following Xi’s speech, CNBC reports.