The lobby of European companies in China has rejected President Xi Jinping’s latest promise to open the market, which has reiterated his broken promises, saying that European companies have become “desensitized” to China’s wishes.
At the opening of a new import fair in Shanghai on Monday, Xi said China had “sincerely committed” to lowering tariffs, expanding market access and importing more goods. Overseas, despite foreign accusations that she promised not to keep her promises.
While Xi said that China would speed up the opening of the education, telecommunications and culture sectors, among others, and strengthen respect for intellectual property rights, his remarks echo much of previous promises.
“This constant repetition, without sufficient concrete measures or timetable put in place, has left the European business community more and more insensitive to this type of promises,” the group said in a statement released Monday.
The board said expectations of Xi’s speech at the opening of the China International Import Expo had been “continually fueled” by the Chinese government.
Xi said China would “step up” efforts to boost imports, lower tariffs, ease customs clearance procedures, and implement tough sanctions for intellectual property infringement, among other things.
“That said, European companies have high hopes for what has been put on the market by the Chinese government as a milestone event,” said deputy chairman of the chamber, Carlo D’Andrea.
“What matters to us is that concrete actions are forthcoming and that the reforms are clearly planned.” If China really continues to open up, we would have expected additional and specific commitments announced by President Xi.” In a speech in Davos nearly two years ago, Xi introduced China as a beacon of globalization, as a counterpoint to Trump, but critics say he has not kept his promises.
Foreign companies complain about a series of policies that benefit local businesses, force foreign companies to form joint ventures with Chinese partners, forced technology transfers, widespread IP infringements and restrictive paperwork.
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