China to widen market access for foreign investors
MADRID: China will widen market access for foreign investors and step up protection of intellectual property rights, China’s President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday ahead of the G20 meeting of world leaders in Argentina.
Speaking before the Spanish upper house of parliament during a two-day stop in Madrid, Xi also said China planned to import $10 trillion worth of goods over the next five years.
“China will make efforts to open, even more, its doors to the exterior world and we will make efforts to streamline access to markets in the areas of investment and protect intellectual property,” Xi said.
Xi made no reference to US President Donald Trump, who on Monday said he expected to move ahead with raising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 per cent from the current 10 per cent.
But in a joint declaration adopted after Xi’s meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Spain and China said they backed “an open and balanced global economy based on WTO rules, reaffirming their commitment to fighting protectionism and unilateralism.” Two very small groups of demonstrators, one expressing opposition to China’s human rights record and one waving a “Welcome” sign, gathered outside the senate as the Chinese leader spoke.
Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan earlier stood side by side with Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia in the crisp Madrid winter sun outside the Royal Palace to receive full military honours from the king’s guards.
China and Spain on Wednesday signed an accord on the export of Iberian ham to China, as part of a series of deals inked during the state visit.
Meanwhile, China’s factories likely struggled to grow for a second straight month in November as cooling demand at home and the threat of higher US tariffs stifled new orders, a Reuters poll showed, adding to risks facing the global economy.
The official survey on Friday will offer the first clues on the health of China’s vast manufacturing sector this month, a day ahead of high-stakes talks between US and Chinese leaders which will determine the future of the countries’ trade war.
Exporters in China have been hit by fresh US tariffs on about $200 billion of Chinese products since late September, and Washington has threatened to sharply hike duties on Jan. 1 unless Beijing accedes to a wide range of demands to correct what Washington describes as “unfair” trade practices.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (right) applauds with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they arrive to sign agreements following a meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid on Wednesday.