Beijing — Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged on Tuesday to lower car tariffs in 2018 and take other steps to open the world’s number two economy "wider and wider", addressing major complaints by the US in a simmering trade row. Xi’s remarks follow weeks of tit-for-tat tariffs between Beijing and Washington, and mutual threats of more levies on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of products that have raised the fear of a trade war that could hamper the global economy. While he did not directly mention US President Donald Trump’s demands, Xi told an economic forum on the southern island of Hainan that Beijing "does not seek a trade surplus" and hopes to increase imports. Promising a "new phase of opening up", he said China would "considerably lower" tariffs on cars and other products this year, take measures to liberalise automotive investment, and protect intellectual property — all areas that have been high on the list of demands by Washington. "Economic globalisation is an irr...

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