China has no intention of launching its own "China First" policy and will instead maintain good business relations with other countries while eschewing economic decoupling from the U.S.
China's President Xi Jinping on Thursday affirmed his country will continue to work with other countries, including the U.S., to lift the world out of the immense economic damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This, despite unresolved trade and political tensions between China and the U.S. created by president Donald Trump's anti-China tariff trade war launched in 2018. There are also other geopolitical tensions such as the COVID-19 blame game standing in the way of normalizing U.S.-China ties
China has no intention of decoupling from the U.S. said Xi during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation virtual CEO Dialogues chaired by Malaysia.
"We will definitely not go down a path of historical reversal, will not seek to 'decouple' or create closed and exclusive 'small circles,' "Xi asserted.
"Opening up to the outside world is a basic national policy, and it will not waver at any time."
Xi also said China will reduce tariffs and sign more free trade agreements in Asia. He urged business leaders in the Asia-Pacific to do more during these challenging times and show "broader vision, greater resilience and stronger entrepreneurship."
He urged them to make the Asia-Pacific a "pacesetter for innovation" and to "actively fulfill" their social responsibilities.
"Openness enables a country to move forward, while seclusion holds it back," he noted.
"China has been integrated with the world economy and international system for a long time. We will not go back in history. We will not seek decoupling and form any small circle that is closed and isolates others."
Xi affirms China will continue to open its economy for foreign investors and take part in more multilateral trade mechanisms. The country will also continue pushing for the liberalization of trade and investment and will sign more high-standard FTAs with other countries.
Xi noted maintaining good business relations with other countries remains important for China. Exports still account for a large chunk of China's economy, making decoupling from the U.S. virtually impossible.
China is also encouraging foreign direct investments, which create jobs and generate revenues.
"I would like to reiterate, China will not waver in its determination to open up, and the big door for opening up will only open wider and wider," according to Xi.
"We will continue to push for the liberalization and increased convenience of trade and investment, negotiate and sign high-standard free trade agreements with more countries.
The aim of all these moves by China is to "create an open economy of higher quality."