China Keeping ‘Open Mind’ on G-7 Talks Aimed at Trade Abuses



Bryce Baschuk | Bloomberg News

China’s ambassador to the World Trade Organization said there’s scope for Beijing to work with the U.S., the European Union and other Western nations on an agreement aimed at curbing the practices at the heart of the still-simmering U.S.-China trade conflict.

“China will keep an open mind to that,” Li Chenggang said in an interview in Geneva on Wednesday, his first known talk with a Western media outlet since being appointed in February. “If we have a fair and a frank discussion on the issues, I think China will try its best to keep an open mind.”

Trade ministers from the world’s seven largest advanced economies are working on an initiative aimed at reining in Chinese trade abuses such as forced technology transfer, market-changing industrial subsidies and trade-distorting actions by state enterprises.

The Group of Seven’s goal in the talks, which have been ongoing since 2017, is to produce an agreement that might eventually be adopted by the members of the WTO. But getting China to join the talks, which are ostensibly aimed at restricting Beijing’s state-led economic model, remains a major hurdle.

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