China is seeking to rebrand global image with import expo

As a blizzard of trade complaints, China is launching an "open to business" import fair host of President Xi Jinping to regain itself as an inviting market and positive global strength.

More than 3,000 companies from 130 countries selling everything from Egyptian dates to factory machines go to China International Import Expo, opening Monday in Shanghai's commercial hub. Its VIP guest list includes prime ministers and other leaders from Russia, Pakistan and Vietnam.

The United States, which is fighting a tariff war with Beijing, has no plans to send a high-level broadcast.

Xis Government Emphasizes Promise of China's Growing Consumer Market to Help Complain Beijing Abuses the Global Trading System by renegotiating promises to open its industries.

"This says, we are not a global parasite that creates massive deficits, we buy goods," said Kerry Brown, a Chinese politician at King's College London.

The event is also part of the work of developing a trade network focusing on China and increasing its influence in a Western dominated global system.

President Donald Trump and his "US First" Trade Policy, which threatens to increase import barriers to the world's largest consumer market in the background.

Exporters, especially developing countries, want closer links with C Hina to help "isolate themselves from what happens to Trump and the US," said Gareth Leather of Capital Economics.

China has cut prices and announced other measures this year to increase imports, which rose 1[ads1]5.9 percent in 2017 to 1.8 trillion dollars. But no-one addresses the United States complaints about its technology policy that brought Trump to impose criminal charges of up to 25 percent of $ 250 billion of Chinese imports. Beijing has reacted with USD 110 billion of US imports.

Chinese leaders have rejected pressure to roll back plans like "Made in China 2025", which requires state-led creation of global masters in robotics and other fields, ambitions that some US officials worry will undermine US industrial leadership.

In order to keep the economy growing, China needs to raise its consumer market, and it requires more imports.

But foreign companies say regulators are still trying to push them out of promising industries and to face pressure to surrender technology.

The Shanghai Exhibition "will have little impact on American and other companies, unless the pageantry matches meaningful and measurable changes in Chinese trade practices," Kenneth Jarrett, president of the US Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said in an email.

Some companies can get a short sale, "but the long-term effect will be defined by China willing to end many of its unfair trading practices," Jarrett said.

Europe, Japan and other trading partners have been leery over Trump's tactics but echo US complaints.

They say that Beijing is wrongly preventing access to finance, logistics and other service industries. The European leaders are frustrated that Beijing has foreign acquisition of most assets while its own companies are in a global buying match.

In French and German ambassadors to Beijing, the French and German ambassadors appealed to changes, including an end to claims that foreign companies operate in joint venture with state-owned partners. They urged China to address these issues through concrete and systematic measures that go in addition to tariff adjustments, "Ambassadors Jean-Maurice Ripert from France and Clemens von Goetz e from Germany wrote in the magazine Caixin.

China is already trading partner # 1 for all its Asian neighbors, although a large proportion of iron ore, industrial components and other goods it buys, become smartphones, televisions and other goods for export.

Tariff scripts announced during the past year were aimed at giving Chinese consumers better access to foreign goods. Chinese leaders emphasize they include anti-cancer drugs and other medical products. But many are specialty products, such as high-end prams, avocados and mineral waters that do not compete with Chinese suppliers.

The Shanghai Exhibition also gives Beijing a chance to repair its image after complaining about the "Belt and Road" initiative to expand trade by building harbors, railways and other infrastructure across a large abdomen with 65 South Pacific countries through Asia to Africa and Europe.

The government including Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand has scrapped or scaled back projects due to high costs or complaints for too little work goes to local businesses. Sri Lanka, Kenya and other nations have had trouble repaying Chinese loans.

"It has become too linked with debt and China gets what it wants," said Brown. "They are trying to get this more positive message that China is open to business."



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