Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed plans to further open up the Chinese economy during a Tuesday address.
Those measures included lowering import tariffs for autos and other products, enforcing the legal intellectual property of foreign firms, and improving the investment environment for international companies.
Xi’s address — from the Boao Forum for Asia, an annual summit that’s been dubbed the “Asian Davos” — comes amid escalating trade tensions between China and the U.S. as the world’s two largest economies take turns announcing punitive trade measures against each other.
In his speech, the Chinese president sold a vision of China as a benevolent leader of the global economy, emphasizing that open systems are the best course of action for the world.
“We should stay committed to openness, connectivity and mutual benefits, build an open global economy, and reinforce cooperation within the G-20, APEC and other multilateral frameworks. We should promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, support the multilateral trading system,” Xi said according to a translation of the speech.
“This way, we will make economic globalization, more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all,” he added.
China will continue opening up even further to the rest of the globe, he said throughout the speech. He discussed some of the ways the country plans to open further.
One of those is China pushing the state intellectual property office this year to step up law enforcement of relevant laws, Xi said.
“We encourage normal technological exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprise and protect the lawful [intellectual property] owned by foreign enterprises in China,” he said.
Last week, Trump asked U.S. trade officials to consider another $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. China’s commerce ministry, for its part, said it would “fight back with a major response” if provoked.
Earlier in the year, the U.S. imposed tariffs on imported solar panels, as well as steel and aluminum imports.
China, in turn, implemented additional tariffs on 128 U.S. products, including fruit and pork, in response to the Trump administration’s decision to impose duties on steel and aluminum. It also announced extra tariffs on 106 U.S. products last week, although no start date was given for those measures.
Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that China will remove trade barriers as that was the “right thing to do.” The president also expressed optimism that the countries would strike a deal on intellectual property.
—CNBC’s Cheang Ming contributed to this report.