Chinese President: No one can ‘dictate’ to China what it should, shouldn’t do

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President Xi Jinping vowed Tuesday to push ahead with China’s “reform and opening up” but warned that no one can “dictate” what it does, as the Communist Party celebrated the policy’s 40th anniversary.

“No one is in a position to dictate to the Chinese people what should or should not be done,” Xi said as China faces a stern challenge from the United States over trade and diplomacy.

Jinping on Tuesday called for support of the state economy while also guiding the development of the private sector, and said China will expand efforts at opening up and ensure the implementation of major reform measures.

Xi was speaking on the day China marked as the 40th anniversary of the start of late leader Deng Xiaoping’s campaign of “reform and opening up,” which kicked-off market liberalizations that led to explosive industrial growth that made China’s economy the world’s second-largest.

“We will reinforce the development of the state economy while guiding the development of the non-state economy,” Xi said in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

“Opening brings progress while closure leads to backwardness,” he added.

Xi’s speech comes amid mounting pressure to accelerate reforms and improve market access for foreign companies as a bitter trade war with the United States weighs on the Chinese economy.

China’s heavy support of its sprawling state sector has been a point of contention with the United States.

The trade war has spurred some Chinese entrepreneurs, government advisers and think tanks to call for faster economic reforms and the freeing up of a private sector stifled by state controls and struggling to gain access to credit.

Xi and US President Donald Trump agreed this month to a 90-day truce in the trade dispute, which halted the threatened escalation of punitive tariffs while the two sides continue negotiations.