A day after President Trump called aspects of the U.S.-China trade relationship “stupid,” his Chinese counterpart tried a different strategy. He responded on Tuesday (April 10) with a promise to slash auto tariffs and further open the country’s markets to imports.
The Los Angeles Times reported that President Xi Jinping — in his first public comments since the two nations veered toward a trade war — presented China as a steady, globalizing force that seeks to partner with countries rather than manipulate them. He made no mention of U.S. actions, but the contrast was clear.
“Openness versus isolation and progress versus retrogression, humanity has a major choice to make,” Xi said at the Boao Forum for Asia, China’s version of Davos, held on the tropical southern island of Hainan. “The trend of peace and cooperation is moving forward and a Cold War mentality and zero-sum game are outdated.”
Xi pledged to reduce restrictions on imported cars by the end of the year, bolster intellectual property rights, and allow greater access to financial markets — all White House grievances. A day before Xi’s speech, Trump tweeted about the injustice of China’s 25% tariffs on foreign cars.
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