Xi promises gradual opening of Chinese markets to investment

President Xi Jinping has promised more steps to gradually open Chinese markets to investment but offered no new initiatives to ease trade tension with Washington and Europe

BEIJING -- President Xi Jinping has promised more steps to gradually open Chinese markets to foreign investment but offered no new initiatives to ease trade tension with Washington and Europe.

Xi spoke Tuesday at the opening of the second China International Import Expo. The fair is meant to mollify Beijing's trading partners by showcasing its vast and growing import market.

In a speech, Xi promised to "expand market opening" and move ahead with promises to reduce restrictions on foreign investment.

Beijing has cut tariffs and eased other import restrictions but none of the steps directly addresses the complaints by the U.S., Europe and others about restrictions on foreign companies.

Business groups have welcomed greater access to Chinese consumers but are frustrated at Beijing's gradual pace and restrictions still in place on services and other industries.