China to cut import tariffs, open markets

It is a move by the ruling Communist Party to boost growth

The Chinese Ministry of Finance announced on Monday tariff cuts effective Jan. 1 on frozen pork, asthma and diabetes medications, integrated circuit boards and some 850 other products.

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The step is intended to promote the coordinated development of trade and environment, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

China's government repeated a promise on Monday to open its oil, telecom and power markets wider to private competitors.

It is a move by the ruling Communist Party to shore up growth in the slowing, state-dominated economy.

The cabinet also promised to give private companies equal treatment with state-owned enterprises in more industries. The statement gave no indication whether the changes apply equally to foreign companies.

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The promise adds to a string of market-opening measures and tariff cuts meant to help revive economic growth that slowed to a three-decade low of 6 percent in the latest quarter.

It comes amid a tariff war with Washington over Beijing's technology ambitions and trade surplus.

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The statement promised to "introduce market competition" in key industries including power, telecoms, railways, oil and natural gas. It said private enterprises would be allowed for the first time to carry out basic telecoms services and invest in power generation and distribution.

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Beijing has ended restrictions on full foreign ownership in electric car manufacturing and says that will extend to the whole auto industry by 2021. Regulators have promised to allow full foreign ownership in banking, insurance and other finance businesses.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.