China to cut tariffs, boost imports of high-quality goods and services: Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking at a conference earlier this month

Addressing leaders of Asia-Pacific's business community, Xi said that China's sound economic recovery has proven the resilience and vitality of the Chinese economy and he is confident that "steady unleashing of the China market potential will create vast business possibilities for other countries" and create stronger impetus for maintaining stable growth of the global economy.

"We will not reverse course or run against the historical trend by "decoupling" or forming a small circle to keep others out", he said in a video speech as part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, held online this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, brings together 21 countries from around the Pacific and accounts for about 60 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, the event's host leader, told APEC gatherings Thursday that the "most important priority" was to "reaffirm our support and commitment for the rules-based multilateral trading system".

It will be only the second time that Trump, who is fighting his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, has participated in APEC, the other occasion being in 2017.

Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the voting and counts in the November 3 election were fraudulent, with his campaign launching various lawsuits.

Asia-Pacific nations including China, Japan and South Korea signed the world's largest regional free-trade agreement over the weekend, encompassing nearly a third of the world's economic output.

Trump has taken a hard line on China during his tenure, hitting the world's number-two economy with a barrage of tariffs and tech restrictions, and a Biden administration is expected to see a more nuanced extension of Washington's current China policy.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), nearly a decade in the making, includes China, Japan, South Korea and 12 other Asian nations.

The formal summit of leaders takes place on Friday.

"As we confront the region's biggest economic challenge, we must not repeat the mistakes of history by retreating into protectionism".

"In today's world where economic globalisation has become an irreversible trend, no country can develop itself by keeping its doors closed", Mr Xi added.

APEC gatherings have in recent years been overshadowed by escalating trade tensions between the USA and China, and leaders were unable to agree on a formal written declaration for the first at their most recent summit in 2018.

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