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06 November 2018, 03:46 | Darnell Patrick
China's Xi promises market opening as import fair begins
Washington has snubbed the gathering by not sending high-level representation.
China expects to import $30-trillion worth of goods and $10-trillion worth of services in the next 15 years, Xi said.
He told VOA, "We were waiting today for President Xi to inform the world about the reform that will take place in the coming days, but what we wanted to hear, (such as) the complete steps on implementing the reform and a clear timetable, did not appear".
Organisers say more than 3,000 foreign companies from 130 countries including the United States, Europe and across Asia, will put their products on display for potential Chinese buyers at the China International Import Expo.
Yet the U.S. government mostly stayed away, even though China said Trump voiced support for the expo in a call with Xi last week. He said the nation would increase purchasing of imported goods and lower tariffs.
The group of leaders also visited the Chinese booth that is organized around the country's vision of innovative, coordinated, green, and open development that is for everyone, which showcased the country's achievements since the reform and opening-up and new opportunities brought to the world by the Belt and Road Initiative. Schumer called it "a direct betrayal of Trump's promise to be tough on China and protect American workers". But he also said those who are not pleased with China's behavior should look at their own treatment of such rights, as well.
Xi also took swipes at President Donald Trump, although he didn't mention the US president by name, according to Bloomberg News.
The Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said in March that China would import $8-trillion of goods in the next five years.
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"China has a big market of 1.3 billion people, and we are sincerely opening the market to all countries".
He said China's $12 trillion-a-year economy is "a sea, not a small pond" and can withstand shocks.
Cabinet Secretaries Peter Munya (Trade and Industry), James Macharia (Transport and Infrastructure), and Monica Juma (Foreign affairs) are part of the President's delegation. They spoke highly of and warmly welcomed Xi's keynote speech at the opening ceremony.
China is India's largest trading partner with a total trade of $89.71 billion in 2017-18.
Instead, people involved in planning meetings have said they were anticipating an event long on symbolism and short on substance meant to signal China's willingness to narrow trade deficits and openness.
"It is important for us therefore to correct the existing trade imbalance to enable a fair share of the benefits of trade", he said.
"It seems like what (Xi) is actually doing is saving up all of his goodies to trade away with Trump as opposed to doing anything unilateral", said Scott Kennedy, a Chinese economic expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. China wants Shanghai to be one of the world's leading worldwide financial centers by 2020.
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