Xi vows to further open up
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in Boao, Hainan Province, on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]
President Xi Jinping has reaffirmed China's commitment to opening-up, while at the same time, pledging new steps to broaden market access and reduce tariffs for various products, including automobiles.
President Xi Jinping has issued the new list of promises on tariff reductions as part of his keynote speech to the Boao Forum for Asia.
This year's gathering coincides with the 40th anniversary of the launch of Reform and Opening Up, which he says has contributed the most to the country's economic success.
Xi Jinping notes that over the past 40 years, China's GDP has averaged an annual growth rate of around 9.5 percent, with foreign trade seeing annual growth of around 14.5 percent.
In recent years, China has contributed over 30-percent to global growth.
While vowing to make the country further open up, Xi Jinping says authorities have already pinpointed a number of key areas.
"China will accelerate the opening-up of the insurance industry, ease restrictions on the establishment of foreign financial institutions in China and expand their business scope, and open up more areas of cooperation between Chinese and foreign financial markets. In manufacturing, China has basically opened up this sector with a small number of exceptions on automobiles, ships and aircraft. These industries are now in a position to open up. Going forward, we will reduce as soon as possible limits on foreign investment in these industries, automobiles in particular."
At the same time, China's President has also promised to increase imports, which he says will include tariff reductions.
"This year, we will significantly lower the import tariffs for automobiles and reduce import tariffs for other products. We will import more products that are competitive and needed by our people. We will seek faster progress toward joining the WTO Government Procurement Agreement."
Xi Jinping also says the government hopes to achieve a greater balance of international payments.
To that end, he's also called on developed countries to lift restrictions on high-tech exports to China, as well as lift export controls for Chinese products.
The Chinese leader also mentioned better protection of intellectual property rights.
"China is re-instituting the State Intellectual Property Office this year to step up law enforcement, significantly raise the cost for offenders and fully unlock the deterrent effect of relevant laws. We encourage normal technological exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprises, and protect the lawful IPR owned by foreign enterprises in China"
Meanwhile, President Xi Jinping has also told the Boao Forum that China doesn't want to threaten anyone or create so-called spheres of influence.
He's also suggested the cold-war and zero-sum mentality should be abandoned.