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April 13, 2018

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Opening-up isn’t linked to trade row

CHINA says its continuing opening-up measures have nothing to do with the trade friction with the United States.

The measures are major strategic decisions made based on an accurate estimation of China’s current development level in order to lead opening-up in the new era to a higher level, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said yesterday.

Similarly, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said unequivocally on Wednesday that the measures China will take have nothing to do with the trade friction.

“Anyone who has some knowledge of how the Chinese government operates will understand that the rollout of such an important decision involving all these major measures will take some time to formulate, deliberate and improve until everything is ready. It is impossible to make such a decision at short notice,” said Geng.

China will continue to adhere to its fundamental national policy of opening-up and will pursue development with its door wide open.

“China’s door of opening-up will not be closed and will only open even wider. This is our consistent position,” Geng said.

Both the report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China last October and this year’s government work report drew up guidance and plans for future opening-up efforts. Tuesday’s announcement of wider opening-up measures is a solid step to implement the two reports, Geng added.

“It was made in line with our own needs, timetable and roadmap,” he said. “China is determined to open wider to the outside world, no matter what others do.”

As of now, neither government officials from China or the US have engaged in any negotiations concerning the trade friction, Gao said.

“There are principles to follow for negotiations. The US side has not shown any sincerity to negotiate. Concerning the US, we will not only listen to the words but also watch the deeds.”

China will fight till the very end if Washington insists on unilateralism and trade protectionism, Gao said.

While some are implementing protectionism, China’s continued opening-up measures prove clearly to the world that China is embracing openness, said Niu Li, an economist with the State Information Center of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Thanks to the country’s reform and opening-up, overseas investment has become a crucial component of China’s economy.

Foreign-funded companies accounted for nearly half of the country’s total exports and imports as well as nearly a quarter of its industrial output, while contributing 20 percent to taxes and 10 percent of employment.

“Current conditions are already favorable for China to further widen market access, and have led to a critical window for China to continue opening up,” said Niu.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, is now the biggest country in terms of industrialization, goods trade and foreign exchange reserves, said Niu.

China said on Tuesday that it will launch a number of landmark measures this year to significantly broaden market access.

The country 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.

China also pledged measures, including significantly lowering import tariffs for vehicles, while reducing import tariffs for some other products, and enhancing protection of intellectual property rights.


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