[LIVE UPDATES] Xi announces opening of China International Import Expo

The China International Import Expo, slated to be held annually will run for six days from Nov 5 to 10

Soybeans are the largest US agricultural export to China.

Some 3,000 firms and dozens of official delegations from around the world - including Britain's Prince Andrew, El Salvador's President Salvador Sanchez Ceren and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev - are attending China's import expo.

On the issue of protection of intellectual property rights, Xi admitted China has room to improve, but he also followed up by saying those who complain about Chinese commercial practices should not hold a flashlight that only exposes others and not themselves.

"To use a metaphor, the Chinese economy is not a pond, but an ocean. Under the theme of 'New Era, Shared Future, ' the first CIIE will help friends from around the world to seize opportunities presented by China in the new era", Xi said.

"China's economy is truly performing well within the reasonable range, giving us a solid foundation for delivering the development goals for the whole year", Xi said.

According to He, China is expected to become the world's largest consumer market by the mid-2030s, with rising demand for discretionary items, consumption of services outpacing that of goods, and wider adoption of digital technologies.

He said: "economic globalization is facing setbacks, multi-lateralism and the free trade system is under attack".

"Trade and economic cooperation remain the anchor and propeller of a steady and healthy China-US relationship which is in essence mutually beneficial".

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As reported by Bloomberg, co-founder of Chinese mega-company Alibaba and China's richest person, Jack Ma, is weighing in on the US-China trade war reality, which Ma warns could last twenty years.

Xi acknowledged some Chinese industries face "growing risks" but said efforts to shore up growth are already paying off.

The CIIE runs from today to November 10 at the National Convention & Exhibition Center in Shanghai. All major countries in the world including the U.S. have massive trade deficits with China which is the leading exporter of the world.

Beijing has framed the first annual China International Import Expo as a sign of its commitment to open markets despite mounting criticism to the contrary and the worsening trade war with Washington, which has seen both sides impose punitive tariffs on billions of dollars of goods. Beijing has responded with tariff hikes on $110 billion of American goods.

Back in September, Beijing called off a planned meeting to negotiate trade arrangements after Washington slapped tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods effective September and on top of that also sanctioned the country's defense agency and its head.

A handful of countries are being represented by a single exhibitor selling one product.

It is the world's first import-themed national-level expo, covering an area of about 30,000 square metres, and will feature enterprise and business exhibitions, country pavilions for trade and investment.

Twelve countries were named "guests of honour" at the trade fair, including the UK, Russia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, and Vietnam.

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