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China-US trade talk: meet halfway and control trade frictions
[January 16, 2019]

China-US trade talk: meet halfway and control trade frictions

BEIJING, Jan. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A news report by on China-US trade talk:

A new round of China-U.S. vice-ministerial trade talks has concluded. This was an important step to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries in Argentina last month. Actually, since this top-level encounter, both sides have been in frequent communication, even on Christmas and New Year's Day, making careful preparations for the talks.

In the discussions, the two sides conducted extensive, in-depth and detailed exchanges on trade and structural issues. The progress made lays a foundation for addressing each other's concerns.

Since the leaders met in December, China has taken the initiative to eliminate the additional tariff on cars, resumed import of the American energy products, as well as agricultural products like soybeans, and published a new negative list for market access of foreign investment. The list, half the length of what it was five years ago, shows considerable change, and the moves have made clear China's good faith in resolving trade frictions.

Over the past half year or so, the negative influences of bilateral trade friction on the U.S. economy has gradually become visible. The U.S. stock market took a hit; many large U.S. companies, industry associations, farmers, as well as former government officials, registered their opposition to the high tariffs imposed on imports of Chinese products, likely to affect Trump administration policies.

Since the very beginning of the trade row, China has repeatedly said there can be no winners in a trade war, and this has been clearly shown by what has happened over the past half year or so. If the trade dispute continues, or even escalats, it will have even greater impact on both economies, and will also drag down the rest of the global economy. Now, stock markets around the world have been boosted on news of progress in the China-U.S. trade talks.

There are many problems in relation to bilateral trade, including some tough nuts that will be hard to crack; therefore, it won't be easy to reach an agreement. Although the U.S. is now under pressure from the trade friction, it has not adopted many concrete actions. Now that the two sides are talking, it's not the case of one side foisting its demands on the other, nor of one side taking action while the other makes constant concessions. Instead, the two sides have to adapt to each other's position, and then meet halfway. As long as both sides show abundant good faith, mutual respect and mutual understanding, we can expect bright prospects to emerge in implementing the consensus reached by the two presidents.

Harvard professor Joseph Nye described the current state of China-U.S. relations as "cooperative rivalry" during an interview with Wang Xiaohui, editor-in-chief of last week. Yes, competition is inevitable between the two major powers, but cooperation should remain the prevailing norm.

China Mosaic

China-US trade talk: meet halfway and control trade frictions


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