Chinese president denounces “law of the jungle” on trade
6 November 2018
China’s president Xi Jinping has again attempted to position Beijing as the defender of free trade in opposition to the US, denouncing the “law of the jungle” in a major speech delivered yesterday.
Xi was speaking at an international business fair in Shanghai at which he cast China as an importing nation. It was an attempt to secure allies in the intensifying trade and economic war with the US, ahead of a scheduled meeting with US President Donald Trump at the G20 summit meeting at the end of the month.
“China has a big market of over 1.3 billion people and it is our sincere commitment to open the Chinese market,” he said. The audience included representatives of major global corporations, some heads of governments and delegates from international organisations, including the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund.
However, the speech did not contain any new initiatives to win support for China in its conflict with the US. It was largely a repeat of his earlier statements in support of globalisation since the coming to power of Trump.
“As globalisation deepens,” he said, “the practices of ‘law of the jungle’ and ‘winner-take-all’ are a narrowing road that leads to a dead end. Inclusion and reciprocity, win-win and mutual benefits are a widening and correct path.”
In an indirect reference to the US and its criticism of China’s trade policies, Xi said: “Each country should work hard to improve its own business environment. One cannot always beautify oneself while criticising others, and one can’t shine a flashlight on other people without looking at oneself.”
Xi said the economic and social well-being of countries was increasingly…