【明報專訊】AT the Boao Forum for Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested further opening the nation's economy to foreign investment, lowering tariffs on imported products like vehicles and bolstering intellectual property protection. With the spectre of a Sino-US trade war looming, some people are conjecturing about whether Xi's comment is a sign of concession by China. However, if we examine the ongoing development of China's national conditions, we will understand it only represents Beijing's efforts to upgrade the country's industries. One can hardly take it as proof that China's indomitability in word will be accompanied by ineffectuality in deed towards the US. Foreseeably there will not be any changes in the ongoing confrontation over trade issues between the two sides. In order to join the ranks of advanced major countries in manufacturing, China must boost its competitiveness. To this end, the only way is to gradually open up and allow more competition. Whether it can do this at a pace neither too fast nor too slow will be the key that determines its success or failure.