President Xi Jinping has sent China's clear messages it is safeguarding globalization by rolling out "very specific measures and a timetable" in opening the country's door wider to the rest of the world, said veteran politicians, business leaders and scholars.
Their comments came after Xi addressed the opening of the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan province on Tuesday.[Special coverage]
Xi said China will put the measures－which include further removing investment restrictions in the service industry, improving the domestic business environment, encouraging imports and protecting intellectual property rights－into action as soon as possible.
"I have sensed that President Xi has shown strong determination in safeguarding globalization, free trade and open economy in his speech at an urgent moment," Romano Prodi, former prime minister of Italy and president of the European Commission, told China Daily on Tuesday.
As a newly elected member of board of directors of Boao Forum for Asia, Prodi said after hearing Xi's speech on Tuesday that he had candid exchanges on the subject with several politicians at the conference. "They have welcomed President Xi's speech and had very positive comments on China's measures of opening-up further," Prodi said.
David Gosset, a French scholar and founder of the Europe-China Forum, said the speech sends a signal for the present and also bears significance for the longer term.
He said the signal for the present is that the solution to solving the problem of trade and investment imbalance and dispute (between China and United States) is to offer two-way market access, and certainly not a trade war. "China is opening its market in key sectors and this is a signal, in my view, sent to Donald Trump," said Gosset.
For the longer term, Gosset said China supports trade and globalization.
Zhu Chaoping, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said China has worked hard to establish itself as a champion of global trade and to promote increasing global economic integration.
"Giving the speech was an opportunity for China to more firmly cement its new reputation as a voice for increased globalization," Zhu said.
Zhu said it is also noteworthy that Xi set a timeline to finish some key reforms in this year.
Kim Fausing, president and chief executive of Danish multinational Danfoss Group, a global leader in providing green solutions for climate, energy, food and infrastructure, said the company has been benefiting from the opening-up of the Chinese economy and opening-up in the past decades, which has allowed it to continue to invest in China.