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China rejects US ‘selfish, short-sighted’ trade policies

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at an event during the Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Qingdao, in China’s Shandong Province, on June 10, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has rejected “selfish, shortsighted” trade policies and instead called for the building of an open global economy, in a clear rebuke of US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies.

“We should reject selfish, short-sighted, narrow, and closed-off policies. We must maintain the rules of the World Trade Organization, support the multilateral trade system, and build an open global economy,” Xi said on Sunday, without naming the United States.

He was speaking at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the northern Chinese port city of Qingdao.

“We should reject the Cold War mentality and confrontation between blocs,” Xi said, adding that countries had to “oppose the practices of seeking absolute security of oneself at the expense of the security of other countries.”

President Xi’s remarks were an unmistakable reference to the Trump administration’s inward-looking trade policies, including the imposition of hefty tariffs on imports from countries such as China.

The US has initiated a trade war with China by levying heavy tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from the Asian country. Beijing has introduced retaliatory measures.

America is also at odds with its natural allies in the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized countries, which have also been irritated by the imposition of US tariffs on their goods.

Heads of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) attend a signing ceremony during the SCO Summit in Qingdao, in China’s Shandong Province, on June 10, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The Chinese leader also announced that his country would offer 4.7 billion dollars in loans under a framework formed by SCO countries, highlighting the bloc’s rising economic importance.

The SCO is an intergovernmental organization that seeks to strengthen mutual trust and good-neighborliness between its member states, facilitate their effective cooperation in various fields, promote peace, security, and stability in the region, and establish a new, democratic, just and rational political and economic international order.

The organization was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined the SCO as full members last year.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was also present at the Sunday SCO meeting, representing the Islamic Republic as an observer state.

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