Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed Friday to abolish subsidies to firms that impede fair competition – addressing a major bone of contention in US trade talks.

Xi repeated past promises to lower tariffs, increase imports and open up more sectors of China’s economy to foreign businesses.

The pledge comes as top US negotiators prepare to travel to Beijing next week for a new round of talks aimed at resolving a months-long trade war that has hit businesses with tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of products.

Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping. File photo: Flickr/Creative Commons.

One of the key US demands is an end to Chinese government subsidies to the country’s companies.

“We will overhaul and abolish unjustified regulations, subsidies and practices that impede fair competition and distort the market,” Xi said at a summit on his Belt and Road global infrastructure project.

“We will treat all companies, enterprises and business entities equally and foster an enabling business environment based on market operation and governed by law,” he said.

Xi reiterated that China would not engage in competitive devaluation of its yuan currency – another cause of US anger.

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