Reflections

At the Boao Forum, Xi Unveils His Vision for the Global Economy

Zhixing Zhang
Senior East Asia Analyst, Stratfor
Apr 11, 2018 | 20:52 GMT
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the Boao Forum for Asia on April 10, 2018.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the Boao Forum for Asia on April 10, 2018. In his speech, Xi unveiled his biggest economic reforms yet, indirectly addressing the concerns the United States has expressed in its trade dispute with China.

(-/AFP/Getty Images)

China's leaders want the world to know that they are serious about economic reform and opening. Speaking April 10 at the Boao Forum for Asia -- his first major international event since extending his rule -- Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined some of his biggest reform initiatives yet. The changes include measures to liberalize his country's restrictive financial, services and automotive industries; to increase imports by "significantly" lowering tariffs on goods such as automobiles; and to strengthen protections on intellectual property. In addition, Xi announced the establishment of a free trade port that will offer a more relaxed regulatory environment than even the free trade zone in Shanghai. Xi used his measured reform agenda to answer, albeit indirectly, some of the concerns the United States has expressed in its escalating trade dispute with China. But the speech wasn't just Beijing's response to Washington; it was a message to the world...

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