China's president vows to raise imports amid trade dispute with US

The China International Import Expo to be held at Shanghai's National Exhibition and Convention Centre, will feature over 3,000 firms from more than 130 countries and regions this year. The firms will showcase goods and services they hope

In October, Ma told World Trade Organization delegates that the Geneva-based body has come under threat from Trump's efforts to recast the worldwide trading system in a way that he says will be more balanced toward the U.S. The American president has this year targeted allies and adversaries alike, threatening tariffs on all of China's exports, proposing levies on European car-makers and saying he could leave the WTO, which he has described as "unfair".

"By transforming itself through trade, through hard work, also learning from others, China has helped transform not only itself but also the global economy", Lagarde said.

America has imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods after President Trump accused China of unfair trade...

But none addresses US complaints that prompted Mr. Trump to impose penalty tariffs of up to 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese imports.

Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised China's trade surplus with the United States which he wants to narrow through the imposition of tariffs.

"We will foster a world-class business environment", Xi said in an address opening an import fair in Shanghai.

The trade showdown between Beijing and Washington has led each side to slap hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on each others' goods.

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Without naming the U.S., Xi reprimanded countries who criticized the policies of others while failing to sort out their own problems and warned that aggressive economic policies that follow "the law of the jungle" will eventually hit a "dead end". The Chinese leadership has urged them to actively make contracts, as Washington has put pressure on Beijing to curb China's trade imbalance by increasing imports, sources close to the matter said.

"They should not hold a flashlight in hand, doing nothing but highlighting the weaknesses of others and not their own".

Organisers of the expo say more than 3,000 foreign companies from 130 countries, including the USA, are present. However, the comments were short on specifics.

Foreign businesses complain about a range of policies that benefit local firms, requirements that foreign companies form joint ventures with Chinese partners, forced technology transfers, rampant intellectual property violations and restrictive red tape.

He also said China would further develop Hainan as a free-trade port, prompting shares of companies based in the southern province to jump.

The Chinese president said China would push forward multilateral and bilateral cooperation in pursuit of development.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde also said there remained "room for even greater reform" in China's market.

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Xi has said the import expo proves China is willing to reduce its foreign trade surpluses.

China, in turn, has imposed levies on $110 billion of USA imports.

Both are seen as eyeing new ways into China.

As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up policy, the Asian power, by holding the expo for imports, will try to brush aside criticism that Chinese markets are closed given that they are mainly controlled by the government.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates will join a business forum, but the touchy optics of attending a China import expo at a time of trade tensions means few big-name American CEOs are confirmed.

Trump, however, has in recent days raised hopes of a resolution to the trade spat, saying he was optimistic a deal could be reached soon.

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