Trade war pushes China to go on charm offensive over free-trade credentials
Increasingly convinced that the trade war with the United States is unlikely to end soon, Beijing is stepping up its charm offensive to reassure foreign politicians and business leaders of its commitment to global free trade by opening and reforming its domestic economy.
And next week’s “Summer Davos” – or the World Economic Forum’s Twelfth Annual Meeting of the New Champions – in Tianjin will serve as the next occasion for Beijing to outline its stance.
“The Chinese government has high expectations for the conference,” Xia Qing, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission’s international department, said on Wednesday.
It was at the World Economic Forum at Davos in January last year that President Xi Jinping made a now-famous keynote speech defending free trade while opposing the rising tide of protectionism. Xi sought to portray China as the new leading champion of globalisation.
“As the trade war is tending to escalate, [China] is sending strong signals that it will firmly promote globalisation, trade liberalisation, that it will support the Belt and Road Initiative and actively respond to global technological changes,” Xia said.
(read more: South China Morning Post)