April 23, 2018 / 2:08 AM / a month ago

China opposes all forms of protectionism, commerce minister says

BEIJING (Reuters) - China opposes all forms of protectionism and will firmly safeguard the world’s multilateral trading system, its commerce minister wrote on Monday in the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper.

Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan attends a news conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, China March 11, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

China will quicken the pace of reform and implement its pledge to opening up banks, securities and insurance, besides easing foreign ownership limits on autos, ships and aircraft, the minister, Zhong Shan, wrote in the People’s Daily.

The comments reinforce President Xi Jinping’s pledge this month to open up the economy to foreign investors and competition, amid growing trade friction with the United States, with the two countries threatening tariffs on more than $100 billion of goods.

China will also step up protection of intellectual property rights and backs a free trade zone in its southern province of Hainan, Zhong added.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Se Young Lee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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