BEIJING (AFP, REUTERS) - President Xi Jinping vowed on Wednesday (Oct 18) that China's economy would open further to the world, on the first day of the 19th Communist Party Congress, which foreign investors will scrutinise for signs that Beijing will pursue market reforms.
"Openness brings progress for ourselves, seclusion leaves one behind. China will not close its doors to the world, we will only become more and more open," Mr Xi told some 2,300 party delegates in Beijing.
Mr Xi also said that China will deepen market-oriented reform of its exchange rate as well as its financial system, while at the same time strengthening the role of state firms in the economy.
Mr Xi, who is set to get a second five-year term at the congress, vowed to "protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors" and said "all businesses registered in China will be treated equally".
The president has sought to cast himself as a champion of globalisation as the United States retreats behind President Donald Trump's "America First" policy.
But, foreign companies complain that his words have not been backed by deeds, as the state retains control over the economy.
US and European companies report being barred from certain sectors and forced to share their technologies with local competitors.
Mr Trump, who will visit Beijing next month (November), has launched a trade investigation into China's intellectual property practices.