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While the giant import fair is a key part of China’s response to growing complaints about its commercial policies, critics said the tightly choreographed event was more show than substance that failed to address core issues at the heart of the festering U.S.-China trade war cufflink size chart uk sale. “I don’t think we’re holding out high hopes for the expo in terms of improving China’s trade relationship with the rest of the world,” said Duncan Innes-Ker, regional director for Asia at the Economist Intelligence Unit..
“People really want to see a generalized improvement in the fairness of the operating environment, not a specific commitment to importing more in this particular year or whatever.” cufflink size chart uk sale. State media has lavished praise on the event, which was headlined by President Xi Jinping, who provided few specifics in his opening speech about how China would address complaints on issues like market access and intellectual property rights protection. “The Shanghai expo will act as a demonstration before billions of global observers that China is letting the market play the decisive role in its business operations,” the Global Times newspaper said..
The expo’s organizers were less laissez faire, and the heavy hand of the state, from stifling security to pressure on state-owned enterprises to do deals, was ever-present. Schools were closed across Shanghai, a city of more than 24 million people, on the first two days of the expo and cars without special passes were blocked from approaching the enormous clover-shaped exhibition hall. Inside, guards and police blanketed the venue and lined walkways to and from the subway cufflink size chart uk sale. Participants were required to undergo airport-level security and a long list of items, from daggers to Frisbees, were banned..
“I’m not sure what they are trying to protect with all of this security,” one foreign industry VIP said. Hundreds of student volunteers in red blazers offered directions around the venue, which boasts an exhibition area roughly the size of 40 football pitches and a multi-story maze of roads, meeting rooms, offices and restaurants. One Reuters journalist clocked more than 17,000 steps of walking at the expo in one day, or roughly 12 km cufflink size chart uk sale. Many of the deals touted at the fair, like Volkswagen’s, appeared to be either business agreements that would not ordinarily warrant publicity, or the announcement of previously agreed contracts, according to executives..
After one signing, a foreign participant told Reuters that he had nothing to do with the company he was representing. “Everything you saw at the signing ceremony was theater or farce. I’m essentially an actor, hired for the duration of the expo, in order to give the impression of international cooperation,” the person said, asking not to be named cufflink size chart uk sale. Chinese companies have been known to hire foreigners to impersonate executives at events, presumably to lend an air of international legitimacy..