Xi Jinping promises to open Chinese markets in trade war joust with Trump

Leader portrays China as champion of globalisation ahead of talks with US president at G20 – but Asian shares continue to slide

Xi Jinping has promised to lower import tariffs and improve access to the Chinese market in remarks meant to portray his country as a champion of globalisation as it remains locked in a trade war with the US.

“Protectionism and unilateralism is rising. Multilateralism and the free trade system are under threat … China will not close its door to the world and will only become more and more open”, the Chinese president said on Monday at the beginning of a trade fair in Shanghai.

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But the point is that even with a horrendous 15 years, China would still hit the $40trn import goal. So either Xi has made a pledge that is effectively meaningless; or planners are deeply bearish about the economy’s prospects. I think we know which one it is. (/END)

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