China vowed on Thursday to further open its markets and lower tariffs while deepening cooperation via the Belt & Road Initiative, in a bid to achieve high-quality trade development by 2022.
A document released by the State Council, China’s cabinet, stated that the country will continue to widen its market access for foreign capital to invest in emerging high-technology industries and the modern services sector, giving these areas full play to become drivers of China’s industrial upgrading and the high-quality development of foreign trade.
China will further lower import tariffs and boost imports of agricultural products and services, while enhancing the protection of intellectual property rights by increasing penalties for violations.
The government also encourages the infusion of high technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain with trade.
China will further encourage meat imports, allowing the total to potentially exceed 6 million tons this year, Gao Feng, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said Thursday.
“The prolonged trade war might have affected some foreign companies’ operations in China, but that is not the main cause,” Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times Thursday.
The changing manufacturing environment in China as well as the more alluring foreign capital policy in emerging regions such as Southeast Asia have caused shifts by some foreign players.
“Meanwhile, we should notice that China is continuously attracting foreign capital to flow into advanced technology. The participation benefits both sides as it increases the global cake,” said Bai.
China urges relevant countries to relax export controls on China, while the country will ramp up efforts to build an export control system to manage trade risks, according to the document.
“China needs such a system to protect domestic market entities,” Bai said, adding that a certain country is cracking down on technology exports to China in the name of national security, which is totally against the principle of free trade.
“‘National security’ has become a US patent, a tool of executing double standards,” Bai noted.
According to Bai, China should have an “unreliable entity list” well in hand no matter what direction the China-US trade talks take.
“Even though no specific company’s name is placed on the list, the mechanism is necessary,” he stressed. At Thursday’s press conference, Gao disclosed no further information about the list.