Xi Jinping pledges to 'open door wide' to global trade

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Ma, who's planning on retiring next year, has also said the global business community is opposed to the trade war.

Mr Xi was speaking at the China International Import Expo which is aimed at promoting China as an open economy that's keen to purchase goods from other countries.

In his remarks, Mr Xi said he would stimulate imports, lower tariffs, ease customs clearance procedures and implement harsh punishments for intellectual property infringements - a key complaint of the US.

The US and European Union business lobbies in China, and the French and German ambassadors to Beijing, last week called on China to use the expo to announce concrete change, saying it too often fails to deliver on promises.

China would "foster a world-class business environment" and its doors will open "ever wider", he said.

But, without naming the U.S. directly, Mr Xi also took issue with the way Mr Trump had handled the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

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

President Xi Jinping promised Monday to open China wider to imports at the start of a high-profile trade fair meant to rebrand the country as a global customer, but he offered no response to US and European complaints about technology policy and curbs on foreign business.

About 180 U.S. companies are sending representatives, including big names such as Alphabet Inc's Google, Boeing Co, Caterpillar Inc, Facebook Inc, General Motors Co, Honeywell International Inc, Microsoft Corp, Tesla Inc and Qualcomm Inc.

In a speech at Davos almost two years ago, he presented China as a beacon of globalisation, in a counterpoint to Trump.

But trading partners and foreign enterprises say he is yet to put his money where his mouth is, and they are exhausted of empty promises. "It's a great opportunity for the world", he said.

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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.

Presidents or prime ministers from 17 countries were set to attend the expo, ranging from Russian Federation and Pakistan to the Cook Islands, though none from major Western nations.

The Nov 5-10 China International Import Expo (CIIE), brings thousands of foreign companies together with Chinese buyers in a bid to demonstrate the importing potential of the world's second-biggest economy.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta voiced the foreign impatience when he told the opening ceremony that his country´s growing trade with China was "heavily skewed" in Beijing´s favour.

Led by their Chairman Ke Huiqi, officials of the government-owned company met President Uhuru Kenyatta in Shanghai, China, on Sunday.

China imported $1.84 trillion of goods in 2017, up 16 per cent, or $255 billion, from a year earlier.

Repeated Promises "He repeated a lot of the planned policies we have already heard in the past few months", said Sue Trinh, head of Asia FX Strategy at RBC Capital Markets in Hong Kong.

Both are seen as eyeing new ways into China's giant market.

China's economic development has changed not only the internal life in the country, but the entire global economy, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde stated at the opening of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.

About 3,600 companies from more than 170 nations, regions and worldwide groups are taking part in the country's first national-level expo for imports, the Chinese government said.

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