CHINA’s President Xi Jinping urged global leaders to resist protectionism and sought to portray his country as a champion of free trade in a speech at China International Import Expo which is seen as a sly dig at US President Donald Trump.
Speaking in China’s financial hub Shangai on Monday, Mr Xi advocated for an open and inclusive economy with remarks that clearly go against the US’ anti-globalisation stance.
He said China would accelerate efforts to remove barriers to foreign business in a bid to increase imports and open the country’s markets.
The Chinese president added "the world is facing the challenge of rising anti-globalisation” and "countries need to acknowledge that economic globalisation is an irreversible historical trend, and openness and collaboration are the engines of global growth and vitality".
Shen Dingli, a Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, commented on Mr Xi’s remarks, noting: “If the US closes, if China closes, then the whole world closes.
Washington refused to send any government officials to Shanghai’s international import fair despite politicians and business chiefs from 150 countries attended the event.
The world’s top two economies are in the middle of a huge trade war over tariffs, which kicked off in March when the Trump administration announced tariffs on $50billion work of Chinese goods in a bid to punish China for the theft of US intellectual property and economic policies that the US said harmed American firms.
Mr Xi's remarks come amid his country being under an increasing amount of pressure to avoid a “financial blow-up”.