China’s Xi calls for tariff cuts at G20 virus talks

Leaders of the G20 major economies are holding an online summit on March 26, in a bid to fend off a coronavirus-triggered recession, after criticism the group has been slow to address the crisis. — AFP pic
Leaders of the G20 major economies are holding an online summit on March 26, in a bid to fend off a coronavirus-triggered recession, after criticism the group has been slow to address the crisis. — AFP pic

BEIJING, March 26 — Chinese President Xi Jinping today urged G20 countries to remove trade barriers in an effort to spur a global recovery after the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Xi urged G20 members to cut tariffs, remove barriers and facilitate the unfettered flow of trade” during his remarks at the emergency online summit, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China has been hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak since it emerged in the country late last year, with more than 80,000 infected and nearly 3,300 dead nationwide, according to official figures.

The world’s second-largest economy ground to a halt in February as authorities shut factories and imposed drastic lockdowns to curb the spread of the disease.

Economic growth had already slowed as a result of the long-running trade war with the United States that saw billions of dollars in tariffs slapped on trade between the two countries. — AFP

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