China backs free trade in masks despite coronavirus-induced shortages


China, the world’s biggest maker of medical masks, signalled on Thursday that it would not limit exports of the product, saying it would abide by free trade and market principles.Li Xingqian, director of the foreign trade department at the Ministry of Commerce, said China had not banned the export of masks or related materials during the coronavirus epidemic, despite other countries imposing such limits.“Masks are freely traded products … companies can trade them in line with market principles,…

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