(Nov 11): Those who thought China was losing the trade war are wrong. Those who thought China could be intimidated into retreating from its commitment to free trade are wrong. Speaking at the opening of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on Nov 5, President Xi Jinping again reaffirmed China’s commitment to free trade and a lowering of trade barriers and tariffs.
His speech followed Premier Li Keqiang’s confirmation of China’s support for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Bangkok. Together, these two speeches show China’s genuine commitment to free trade and to more opening up of the country’s capital and investment markets. It puts a floor under the trade threats coming from the US and boosts the investment environment and opportunities in the Asean region.
Xi covered five areas. For those who choose to really listen, these five areas point the way to a greater and more stable trade relationship that offers benefits for all participants. These five areas are consistent with the philosophy of the Belt and Road Initiative, and with that of the RCEP agreement announced in Bangkok.