'Super-nationalistic' Xi Jinping is looming over Chinese economic policies

  • China said it will sharply widen market access for foreign investors, but it could just trying to placate the U.S., observers say.
  • It remains to be seen if Xi, a "super nationalistic leader," will open up the world's second largest economy meaningfully to foreign investors.

China said on Tuesday said it will sharply widen market access for foreign investors this year — but it could just be talk, observers said.

"At this stage, the Chinese — at least on a rhetorical basis — are trying to placate the Americans," said Willy Lam, adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Center of Chinese Studies.

Whether they would open up the market, particularly for financial services and other key sectors, is another issue, Lam added.

The move appears to be "a very small step, which is trying to placate perhaps the U.S. and sound positive in some respect, so they perhaps don't get the U.S. pushing any harder on trade restrictions," said Greg Gibbs, founder of Amplifying Global FX Capital.

After all, Chinese President Xi Jinping "is a super nationalistic leader and that also translates into economic and financial policies," Lam added, so it remains to be seen if he will open up the world's second largest economy meaningfully to foreign investors.

China's announcement about greater market access came during its annual parliamentary session which started on Monday.