President Xi Jinping pitched China as a paragon of global free trade on Thursday, promising to keep the world’s second-biggest economy open and warning against the perils of protectionism.
Buoyed by the signing of the world’s largest trade pact over the weekend, Xi told a virtual meeting of some of the Asia Pacific’s top CEOs that China was the “forerunner driving global growth” in a world hit by “multiple challenges” including the pandemic.
He promised “openness” to trade and rejected any possibility of the “decoupling” of the Chinese economy – his only comments hinting at the hostile trade policy of the administration of outgoing US President Donald Trump, which has battered China with tariffs and tech restrictions.
“Our new development pattern is not a closed domestic single circulation, but an open and mutually promoting domestic and international dual circulation,” Xi said.
The “dual circulation” strategy envisages that China’s next phase of development will depend mainly on “domestic circulation” or an internal cycle of production, distribution and consumption, backed by domestic technological innovation.
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