Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday presented China as the engine of world trade, promising to “open even more the doors” of its national economy and issuing a warning against protectionism.
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Encouraged by the signing this weekend of the largest planetary trade agreement promoted by his country, Xi said Asia-Pacific is “at the forefront of growth” in a world hit by “multiple challenges ”, including the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a speech broadcast online for the opening of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) summit hosted by Malaysia, Xi Jinping also assured that China will be the world champion of economic “openness”.
“Openness is what keeps a country moving forward, while isolation holds it back,” Xi said in his address broadcast from Beijing. He added that no nation “can develop by keeping its doors closed.”
He denounced any idea of economic “decoupling” with the United States, a term used by the administration of US President Donald Trump, which has imposed punitive tariffs and restrictions on technology on China.
The “decoupling” is supposed to drastically reduce the dependence on China from the US economy.
The Apec summit is being held online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It brings together the 21 countries of the Pacific Rim (including the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China). These nations together account for some 60% of global GDP.
It was not immediately clear whether Donald Trump, busy disputing the results of the presidential election, will take part in the summit or if a senior American official will represent him.
“I would like to remind you that China’s commitment to openness is strong (…) and that it will open its doors even more to the world,” the Chinese head of state also stressed. reiterating a recurring promise.
The Apec summit comes a week after the signing of the largest free trade agreement in the world between China and 14 other Asia-Pacific countries.
This Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), in which neither the United States nor India appears, is seen as a victory for Beijing.