June 18, 2024

(Bloomberg) — Chinese President Xi Jinping urged cadres to strengthen efforts to safeguard the nation’s security and interests in the process of opening up, as he pledged to actively take part in adjusting international trade rules.

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The country should participate “comprehensively and deeply” in the reform of the World Trade Organization, as well as “resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights” of China and other developing nations, he said.

China has benefited from joining the WTO more than two decades ago and Xi said the country has evolved into an “important participant” in forming global trade and economic rules. He made the comments at a group study session of the Politburo, the Communist Party’s decision-making body, on Wednesday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Xi’s comments coincide with China’s efforts to stabilize ties with major trading partners including the US and Europe as the economy loses steam.

Read More: China Shies Away From Confrontation With Europe Over EV Probe

China has hosted four cabinet-level White House officials in Beijing in recent months, and reestablished working groups with the US ahead of a potential Xi meeting with President Joe Biden in November. Meanwhile, officials have shown a willingness to talk with European Union counterparts even after the bloc announced a probe into China’s electric vehicle subsidies.

Xi also vowed to continue to expand access to the Chinese market and attract foreign capital, but stressed the need to “safeguard” the country’s economic security, according to Xinhua.

He urged officials to strengthen their capabilities to “use international rules to safeguard China’s developmental rights,” according to the report. They should balance opening up with security and “safeguard security in the process of fighting” — a term Xi usually uses in response to perceived foreign coercion.

China’s 24-member Politburo also vowed to enhance anti-corruption efforts at state-owned enterprises and the financial sector at a separate meeting on Wednesday, as the country closes a six-month graft-busting inspection in the sector.

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