Jack Ma sees huge opportunity for consumers in US-China trade war

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-Chinese goods. Donald Trump is now exerting pressure on the Asian nation to wind back its $423 billion trade surplus with the world.

In his address to the China Import Expo, an event created by Beijing to signal its intentions to increase its business with the rest of the world, Xi said China's promise to buy more products and services from overseas is "not a temporary arrangement but a long-term commitment" and that the fair would become an annual event.

But he also delivered a veiled rebuke to Trumpism, decrying "protectionism", "isolationism" and "the law of the jungle". The main idea behind the expo is to promote China's effort of opening up its trade borders.

"They should not hold a flashlight in hand, doing nothing but highlight the weaknesses of others and not their own".

The trade surpluses enjoyed by China are attracting more and more criticism overseas and are at the origin of an escalation of the trade conflict with Washington, which has seen the two parties to impose customs duties, punitive damages of hundreds of billions of dollars of goods.

Organisers say more than 3,000 foreign companies from 130 countries including the United States and Europe are present, including General Motors, Ford, Microsoft, Samsung, Walmart and Tesla. "Nobody can stop free trade".

In a speech at Davos almost two years ago, Xi presented China as a beacon of globalisation, in a counterpoint to Trump, but critics say he has yet to deliver on such promises.

But critics say Xi is yet to put his money where his mouth is and they are exhausted of empty promises.

Foreign businesses complain about a range of policies that benefit local firms, requirements that foreign companies form joint ventures with Chinese partners, forced technology transfers, rampant intellectual property violations and restrictive red tape.

"(The) Trade war is the most stupid thing in this world", Ma said on Monday at the China International Import Expo here. "Becoming a major buyer of foreign products is the greatest challenge for China", he announced. "China will push forward multilateral and bilateral cooperation in pursuit of development", he said.

The Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said in March that China would import $8 trillion of goods in the next five years.

But US officials say that approach amounts to China buying its way out of trouble with a short-term import surge rather than real change, and Washington snubbed the gathering by not sending high-level representation. Find us on Facebook too!

Margarete Schrambock, Austria's economy minister, expressed her hope to strengthen existing or create new relationships on this occasion and make the first CIIE a very successful event for both Austria and China. However, he said that the government is quickly working on reforms and assistance in order to address these issues and also to improve the country's overall economic efficiency.

An Indian delegation led by Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan is taking part the first China International Import Expo inaugurated in the eastern metropolis of Shanghai.