Asia Pacific markets traded mostly lower on Monday as investors remained cautious over global growth prospects while Chinese President Xi Jinping tried to position China as a globalization champion in a major speech.
Xi's opening speech kicked off the week-long China International Import Expo that seeks to promote the world's second largest economy as a major consumer of global goods. The event, announced more than a year ago, will stand in contrast to the ongoing trade fight between Beijing and Washington.
During the speech, Xi repeated his rhetoric against protectionism and promoted his country as an advocate for international openness and cooperation. He discussed at length about the benefits of an open international economy and said that China is pursuing "a new round of high-standard opening up" to broaden market access to the rest of the world.
The United States has levied tariffs on an extensive list of Chinese products. Beijing, for its part, unsuccessfully tried to negotiate on tariffs by offering to buy more U.S. goods, but ultimately responded with duties on products from the U.S.
The impact of the ongoing trade war is being felt as companies report higher production costs and trim outlook. On Friday, Chinese tech giant Alibaba lowered its full-year sales forecast, citing concerns about the economic impact of the trade war.
Xi's speech at the expo comes a day before Americans head to the polls for midterm elections.