China's Vice Premier Wang Yang has pledged that China will play a leading role in promoting free trade.
The Chinese Communist Party's 4th-highest-ranking official made the vow in his address to the Fortune Global Forum. The conference, which opened on Wednesday in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, is sponsored by the US business magazine Fortune.
About 1,000 people from around the world, including business leaders, are attending the 3-day event to discuss challenges facing the global economy.
Wang said China will continue to open up along with other countries, liberalize trade and investment, safeguard the global trading system, and unequivocally reject protectionism.
He added that China's prosperity and openness will offer businesses around the globe great opportunities to develop.
His remarks apparently reflect China's aim to take the lead in the global economy, amid protectionist moves by the administration of US President Donald Trump.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Apple CEO Tim Cook are among those attending the forum, attesting to the strong interest in Chinese markets among world leaders and business heads.