Alibaba's Ma calls trade war 'stupidest thing in the world'

Tuesday, 06 Nov, 2018

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks at the opening ceremony of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on November 5, 2018.

But more importantly, President Xi promised to open the Chinese economy further to worldwide investment.

The Shanghai expo also gives Beijing a chance to fix its image as a positive for global development following complaints "Belt and Road" leaves host countries with too much debt, while too little work goes to local companies.

A total of 12 countries, namely Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Russia, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Germany, Canada, Brazil and Mexico, attended the expo as guest countries of honor. Just $5 a month.

The United States and China will hold the top-level diplomatic and security dialogue in Washington on Friday, the U.S. State Department said. But in an indirect reference to Mr. Trump's "America first" policies and threats of import controls, he appealed to other governments to "jointly safeguard free trade".

With the United States notably absent, .

President Uhuru Kenyatta over the weekend led top government officials to China where he is expected to seal a deal allowing setting up of a silk shop in Kenya.

. Globalization is "an irreversible historical trend", Xi told attendees, adding that the "great tide of history will inevitably move forward".

Beijing supports the settlement of worldwide disputes via rules and consensus and stands against unilateralism and protectionism, he added.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates (right) with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the 1st China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Monday. "Micron regards the development of Jinhua as a threat and has tried various means to stall or even sabotage it", the company said, urging its rival to "immediately stop wrongdoings and facilitate the resumption of normal trade and cooperation activities between the two parties".

While Xi didn't mention Trump or the U.S. by name, the trade conflict was a clear theme in his remarks. As with every other Chinese-hosted global events, there was a clear connection to the Belt and Road Initiative - after all, the CIIE was first announced at the Belt and Road Forum. But no major new initiatives were proposed, although Xi ran through a list of policies and measures China is taking to encourage imports, such as cutting taxes on imports and opening up more sectors to foreign companies, products and services. While 18 heads of state or government are slated to attend, virtually all are from small economies. The CIIE was supposed to be an antidote to those charges, by explicitly offering BRI (and other) countries a chance to sell their own goods to China.

Jinhua also suggested that Micron had orchestrated the export restrictions.

It follows months of recriminations spanning trade, US accusations of Chinese political interference, the disputed South China Sea and self-ruled Taiwan. Flowers from Kenya, coffee from El Salvador and fruits from the Dominican Republic also attracted the leaders. Economic growth is stable, the government capacity for macro-economic regulation is increasing, and efforts to deepen reform across the board have unleashed new drivers of growth, he said.