Jack Ma Says the Trade War Is the ‘Most Stupid Thing’

Leroy Wright
November 6, 2018

President Xi Jinping has promised to open China's market wider as he opened a trade fair meant to promote the country's image as an importer, but he offered no response to USA and European complaints about technology policy and curbs on foreign business.

He opened the first annual China International Import Expo in Shanghai, attended by many world leaders and major firms, with a speech acknowledging anger overseas over trade policies in the world's second-largest economy. He added that China would not stop efforts to promote an open world economy and will be a stable engine of global growth.

Ma made the comments at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in the Chinese commercial hub of Shanghai.

Foreign business surveys indicate the playing field is worsening as Xi champions a strong-China message not unlike Trump's "America First" platform.

China sees the expo as one of this year's most important diplomatic events, along with the Boao Forum for Asia, billed as the region's answer to the World Economic Forum in Davos, and the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a Chinese-led security bloc. Participating countries have put on display a variety of products from agricultural products to consumer goods.

The trade pact came days after Kenya reversed a move to ban tilapia fish exports from China.

The event, which has a United Kingdom delegation led by the trade secretary Liam Fox, is aimed at bolstering access to China for foreign firms but has been overshadowed by the trade spat with Donald Trump.

President Xi claimed that the country will buy goods worth over $30 trillion from other countries over the next 15 years, and said the country was committed to globalisation. "All countries should be committed to opening-up and oppose protectionism and unilateralism in a clear-cut stand", he added.

Delhi air quality worsens to 'hazardous' level
Additionally, the court has directed the CPCB to setup a social media account where citizens would be able to lodge complaints. Al stone crushers, hot mix plants generating dust pollution to remain closed in the districts during the period, it said.

"Economic globalization is facing setbacks, multilateralism and the free trade system is under attack, factors of instability and uncertainty are numerous, and risks and obstacles are increasing", President Xi said in his speech.

China's shift to an import model is "going to be a huge pain for a lot of businesses, but it's also going to make a good opportunity for a lot of consumers", he said.

Xi said China would ease barriers to industries such as financial services, agriculture, mining and education.

Foreign business groups, too, have grown tired of Chinese reform promises, and while opposing Trump's tariffs, have longed warned that China would invite retaliation if it didn't match the openness of its trading partners.

Jarrett noted that Xi promised better protection of foreign patents and other intellectual property, which companies complain are copied or improperly used by Chinese rivals.

"Overall, favorable conditions are in place for the long-term, healthy and steady growth of the Chinese economy", Xi said.

China's economy grew 6.5% year on year in the July-September period, the weakest expansion since the first quarter of 2009, when the global economy was in the depths of the financial crisis.

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