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4 November 2019

China says no promise 'fatigue' on opening its economy

There is no promise “fatigue” about China’s efforts to open its economy to foreign businesses, the government said on Monday on the eve of week-long import fair, after the European Union said China needed to make rapid and substantial improvements.

The EU, China’s largest trading partner, said last week ahead of the Shanghai fair that there was a risk of “promise fatigue”, urging China to show “more ambition and genuine effort towards rebalancing and a level playing field”.

China has long been dogged by allegations of unfair trade practices, from forced tech transfers to protectionist market entry policies. The country has been criticized for making promises to open its market and not delivering on them.

Speaking at a daily news briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said China was pleased to note the EU’s statement mentioned how European companies’ sales had benefited from the fair last year, the first of its kind in the country.

European firms will be well-represented this year, too, and are sure to come away well satisfied, Geng said. When it comes to China’s commitment to reform and opening up, China has always stuck to its word, he said.

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