China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has flagged a commitment to the expansion of overseas imports.
MOFCOM spokesperson Gao Feng (高峰) said at a routine press conference on 24 May that actively expanding imports is China’s firm long-term policy.
“We need to satisfy constantly growing demand of the Chinese people for a good life, and drive the high-quality growth of the Chinese economy.
“China welcomes high-quality competitive goods and services from countries around the world, including the United States, into the Chinese market, and we are also willing to provide a fair and transparent commercial environment for participation in competition on the Chinese market.”
According to Gao the biggest success of the most recent round of Sino-US trade discussions held in Washington was an agreement from both sides to use dialogue and cooperation to resolve the ongoing Sino-US trade dispute and avoid a trade war.
“Both China and the US believe that trade is the market behaviour of companies, and we should respect the laws of the market economy,” said Gao.
The remarks arrive amidst ongoing trade tensions between China and the United States, prompting Beijing to commit to a reduction in the US trade deficit vis-a-vis China, and an expansion of its purchase of American goods.
Official data indicates that China’s trade surplus posted a contraction of 21.8% in the first quarter of 2018.
Figures from the General Administration of Customs indicates that China’s total imports and exports were worth 6.75 trillion yuan in the first quarter of 2018, for a year-on-year rise of 9.4%.
Exports rose 7.4% to hit 3.54 trillion yuan, while imports increased 11.7% to reach 3.2 trillion yuan, for a trade surplus of 326.18 billion yuan, marking a contraction of 21.8%.