China seeks to rebrand global image with import expo

In this Oct. 26, 2018, photo, workers prepare a lawn outside the venue for the upcoming China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Facing a blizzard of trade complaints, China is throwing an "open for business" import fair hosted by President Xi Jinping to rebrand itself as a welcoming market and positive global force. (Chinatopix via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — Facing a blizzard of trade complaints, China is throwing an "open for business" import fair hosted by President Xi Jinping to rebrand itself as a welcoming market and positive global force.

More than 3,000 companies from 130 countries selling everything from Egyptian dates to factory machinery are attending the China International Import Expo, opening Monday in the commercial hub of Shanghai. Its VIP guest list includes prime ministers and other leaders from Russia, Pakistan and Vietnam.

The United States, fighting a tariff war with Beijing, has no plans to send a high-level envoy.

Xi's government is emphasizing the promise of China's growing consumer market, needed to keep the economy growing, to help defuse complaints Beijing abuses the global trading system by reneging on promises to open its industries.

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