Giulia Petroni is a journalism student at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
China's President Xi Jinping told Spanish lawmakers on Wednesday his country would boost protection of intellectual property ahead of a G20 meeting where he faces a trade showdown with the United States.
Xi is due to meet his US counterpart Donald Trump at the gathering in Argentina this week, with Washington threatening to ramp up a trade war with Beijing if it doesn't allay US concerns over intellectual property theft and China's forced technology transfers.
"China will make efforts to further open its door to the outside world," Xi told the Senate as he pays a state visit to Spain. "We will make a lot of efforts to speed up market access, improve the investment environment and increase protection of intellectual property."
The United States has already imposed tariffs on more than US$250 billion in Chinese goods in an attempt to pressure the country to reverse its alleged unfair trade practices.
He said that in economic terms, this centered on "whether or not we will continue economic globalization and free trade, or if we turn to unilateralism and protectionism."
Xi has cast himself as a defender of globalization and opponent of protectionism, but US and European governments say foreign companies still face many hurdles to do business in the Communist-ruled country.