Chinese President preaches openness
China and the United States are locked in an escalating trade war, with both levying tariffs on each other’s imports. Just before Xi spoke, the government reported surprisingly weaker growth in retail sales and industrial output for April.
China on Monday announced higher tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods, effective on June 1, in retaliation for a US decision on Friday to raise levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
Xi was addressing a forum in Beijing organized by the propaganda ministry, called the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations. He made no direct reference to the trade tension, focusing instead on presenting China as a non-threatening country open to all.
Chinese civilization was an “open system” that had continuously had exchanges and learned from other cultures, including Buddhism, Marxism and Islam, Xi told the forum. “Today’s China is not only China’s China. It is Asia’s China and the world’s China. China in the future will take on an even more open stance to embrace the world,” he added.
No country could stand alone, Xi said, perhaps taking an indirect swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy. “Civilizations will lose vitality if countries go back to isolation and cut themselves off from the rest of the world,” Xi said. “The people of Asian countries hope to distance themselves from being closed, and hope that all countries will adhere to the spirit of openness and promote policy communication, connectivity and smooth trade.”