Speaking at the inaugural China International Import Expo, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a remark directed at President Donald Trump, Bloomberg reports.
In an obvious reference to Trump’s protectionist trade policies and the trade war he has been escalating with China, Xi Jinping’s comment appears to be a not-so-thinly-veiled criticism of the U.S. president’s economic nationalism.
“As globalization deepens, the practices of law of jungle and winner take all are a dead end. Inclusion and reciprocity, win-win and mutual benefits are a widening road.”
Xi added that the practices he claims President Trump is insisting on, “the practices of beggar-thy-neighbor,” can only lead to economic stagnation.
The Chinese president vowed that the Asian country would open its markets to the West in retaliation to Trump’s tariffs.
Bloomberg notes that Xi’s speech not only comes as the tensions between two of the world’s biggest economies escalate, but also amid doubts that China is willing to open its markets.
The inaugural China International Import Expo features more than 3,600 companies from 172 countries, regions, and organizations, which could also be interpreted as a signal of China’s willingness to fully participate in global trade.
However, although significant, the convention has failed to attract powerful economies.
Of G-20 countries, only Russia is sending high-ranking government officials, and the heads of state set to attend the meeting all represent insignificant economies in the global context.
The convention has also failed to attract prominent business leaders, with Adidas and Walmart, for instance, sending no senior executives.
In a statement supplied to CNBC, Wang Huiyao, an adviser to the Chinese government and the president of Beijing-based think tank Center for China and Globalization, said that the convention is also aimed at President Trump, since China is looking to signal that it has entered a “new phase.”
“I think this expo is aimed at the U.S. as well, because it really shows China wants to buy more, and that is what President Trump is looking for,” he said.
But Xi Jinping’s remarks — evidently directed at President Trump — also indicate that China is not ready to fully succumb to the pressure.
During the speech, Xi further asserted that all countries need to “open up” in order to develop economically.
“International trade and economy will stagnate and the world economy will face difficulties in its healthy development,” he said.
As the Inquisitr noted in late October, reports indicate that Trump, who proudly referred to Xi as a friend, and then backtracked, is willing to put more pressure on the Asian country, and that he has no intention of easing tariffs on Chinese goods.