Mon, Mar 20, 2017 - Page 14 News List

China right to limit access: minister

PROTECTIONISM:The Chinese vice premier reiterated Beijing’s pro-globalization stance despite the industry minister’s statement in support of market restrictions

Reuters, BEIJING

Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei (苗圩) yesterday said the nation’s policy of restricting market access is important for domestic growth, even as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) seeks to project the country as a world leader in fighting protectionism.

“In some areas, we determine that a certain percentage of the market share must be controlled by domestic players. This is a last resort,” Miao said at the China Development Forum in Beijing.

Other nations have policies restricting imports of some Chinese products, while there is demand for those products in China, Miao said, “so we must resolve this on our own, or else it will have a major impact on our growth.”

More than 80 percent of members of a US business lobby in China say foreign companies are less welcome than in the past, a survey released in January showed, with most saying they have little confidence in China’s vows to open its markets.

Also at the forum, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (張高麗) said China opposes various forms of protectionism and supports free trade.

“We should unwaveringly push forward economic globalization ... we cannot stop our footsteps because of temporary difficulties,” Zhang said, reaffirming Beijing’s stance amid worries over weak global demand.

Zhang said world policymakers should make the globalization process more “inclusive” by putting more emphasis on equality.

“The world economy is in a deep adjustment, growth is weak and trade protectionism is rising,” he said.

Beijing is struggling to cope with weak global demand and faces risks from growing US trade protectionism as the new administration under US President Donald Trump shows an aversion to globalization.

Meanwhile, Chinese Minister of Supervision Yang Xiaodu (楊曉渡) said Beijing’s anti-corruption drive would clean up the relationship between government officials and enterprises, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Yang said there was still a long way to go before relations between the government and enterprises were “clean,” Xinhua reported on Saturday.

He told the forum that some government officials abuse their authority to embezzle state-owned assets, and that the anti-corruption drive would reduce collusion between government officials and enterprises, promoting fair competition in a market environment.

“The creation of a new type of relationship between the government and enterprises is a long-term process,” Xinhua quoted Yang as saying.

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