The skyline in Pudong, Shanghai. Photo: Wikimedia commons/Ermell

China will continue to leverage the pioneering role of pilot free trade zones and free trade ports in steering its opening-up, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech at the opening ceremony of the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on Wednesday.

China will nurture new pacesetters of opening-up and introduce a negative list for the cross-border services trade and open still wider in areas like the digital economy and the internet, Xi said.

It will deepen reform and innovation in trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and make institutional innovations to support an open economy of higher standards, he added.

The country will pursue creative ways to grow foreign trade. Through the CIIE and other platforms of opening-up, China will continue to support companies from around the world in exploring business opportunities in China. It will tap into the growth potential of foreign trade with a view to boosting growth in international trade and the world economy.

Xi said China will encourage cross-border e-commerce and other new business forms and models to grow even quicker to foster new drivers of foreign trade. China will shorten its catalog of technologies prohibited or restricted from importation to create a favorable environment for the free flow of technologies across borders.

Investment in education

China’s total investment in education in 2019 exceeded 5 trillion yuan (US$748.8 billion) for the first time, an increase of 8.74% from 4.6 trillion yuan in 2018, according to the Ministry of Education.

Government spending on education rose 8.25% to over 4 trillion yuan, the ministry said, adding that the figure accounted for 4.04% of the country’s GDP. Government expenditure on education has remained above 4% of GDP for eight consecutive years since 2012, the statistics showed.

Market liquidity

China’s central bank pumped cash into the banking system through open market operations to maintain liquidity Thursday.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) injected 30 billion yuan into the market through seven-day reverse repos at an interest rate of 2.2%, according to a statement on its website.

The move was intended to maintain reasonably ample liquidity in the banking system, the central bank said. A total of 140 billion yuan of reverse repos matured Thursday, resulting in a net withdrawal of 110 billion yuan from the market.

Company news

Xiaopeng Motors, a Guangzhou-based electric vehicle startup, reported year-on-year gains in deliveries for October, as Beijing aims to gradually increase the share of new energy vehicles in the country’s new car sales total.

Last month, Xiaopeng delivered a total of 3,040 vehicles consisting of 2,104 P7s and 936 G3s, representing a year-on-year increase of 229%. Xiaopeng is now building a manufacturing base in Guangzhou after the launch of its wholly-owned factory in Zhaoqing where its new P7 long-range electric sports sedan is produced. Recently, the company celebrated producing the 10,000th P7 car at its Zhaoqing factory.

Earlier this week, China’s State Council issued a revised roadmap for the new energy vehicle sector in which it aimed for sales of electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles to make up 20% of overall new car sales by 2025.

The stories were compiled by Nadeem Xu and Shan Hui and first published at

Xu Yuenai

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.