Critics see the China International Import Expo, or CIIE, as a poorly conceived, less business-oriented event than political stance in the face of trade tensions between China and the United States.

The EU has many of the same complaints as the US regarding Chinese business practices and the treatment of foreign companies. “For us, one of China’s most important trading partners, success will be measured by the one-off, concrete and systemic measures that China is implementing,” the EU said.

The German and French ambassadors to China said in a rare article in the economic magazine Caixin that European companies should have the same opportunities in China as Chinese industries in Europe.

“French and German companies are eagerly waiting for China to demonstrate that it will not falter and deepen its policy of openness and reform to create a level playing field for foreign companies in China,” their article said. “International companies operating in China are expecting a more holistic reform agenda to increase international investment and solve existing problems,” the magazine said.

“We encourage China to solve these problems through concrete and systematic measures that go beyond tariff adjustments.” China should put in place faster scientific procedures for agricultural products, abolish all joint venture requirements, ensure that cybersecurity legislation does not create business barriers or discriminatory practices and better protect rights intellectual property, he said.

We must also do more, giving European companies the same opportunities in China as Chinese companies in Europe, they added. “The Shanghai Expo is coming at the right moment, 40 years after its creation, China should give a new impetus to reform and openness policies and create a new political and economic momentum for foreign companies,” they wrote.

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