Amidst trade war with U.S President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned against returning to a “Cold War mentality”.
“In today’s world, the trend of peace and cooperation is moving forward and a Cold War mentality and zero-sum game thinking are outdated.”
As the trade war rages, Xi vowed to open sectors from banking to auto manufacturing.
Xi said China would increase imports, lower foreign-ownership limits on manufacturing and expand protection to intellectual property.
Xi cited the measures while saying China was entering a “new phase of opening up” in his keynote address Tuesday to the Boao Forum for Asia, his country’s answer to Davos.
“Human society is facing a major choice to open or close, to go forward or backward,” Xi told hundreds of investors gathered on the resort island of Hainan.
The long-planned speech – marking 40 years after the first economic reforms transformed China – was being closely watched after Trump’s plan to hit hundreds of Chinese products with duties.
The country faces a credibility gap after years of promises to free up the economy were followed by more centralised control, market-access barriers and state support for local companies.
Those practices are at the center of Trump’s threats to levy some $150 billion of tariffs against China.
The US has asked the country to reduce its trade surplus by $100 billion, cut tariffs on cars and stop forced technology transfers by foreign corporations, among other things.
Since Trump’s election, Xi has presented himself as a champion of the existing global trading system. Last year, he countered Trump’s “America First” campaign promises in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he compared protectionism to “locking yourself in a dark room”.
On Tuesday, Xi’s speech also included a veiled swipe at such policies: “Paying attention only to one’s own community without thinking of others can only lead into a wall. And we can only achieve win-win results by insisting on peaceful development and working together.”