Xi promises gradual opening of Chinese markets to investment

National News

Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a live broadcast speaking at the media center during the opening of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Xi promised Tuesday to open China wider to imports and foreign investment at the start of a high-profile trade fair meant to rebrand the country as a global customer and warned against trade protectionism. (AP Photo/Dake Kang)

BEIJING (AP) — President Xi Jinping has promised more steps to gradually open Chinese markets to foreign investment but offered no new initiatives to ease trade tension with Washington and Europe.

Xi spoke Tuesday at the opening of the second China International Import Expo. The fair is meant to mollify Beijing’s trading partners by showcasing its vast and growing import market.

In a speech, Xi promised to “expand market opening” and move ahead with promises to reduce restrictions on foreign investment.

Beijing has cut tariffs and eased other import restrictions but none of the steps directly addresses the complaints by the U.S., Europe and others about restrictions on foreign companies.

Business groups have welcomed greater access to Chinese consumers but are frustrated at Beijing’s gradual pace and restrictions still in place on services and other industries.

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