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Appeal for cooler heads over China-US trade

2018-09-05

Source: China Daily    Published: 2018-9-4


Researchers and former government officials from China and the United States have urged Washington and Beijing to remain rational and keep communicating, and stop slapping tariffs on each other, so to de-escalate their trade frictions.


They made the appeal at three round tables held by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University with the Asia Society in New York and with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Brookings Institution in Washington last week.


At least 40 participants had "full and frank" discussions on the trade conflicts between the two countries, with the purpose of trying to find a right path toward resolving the trade dispute, and pushing their governments to engage in talks, according to a release from the Chinese delegation.


They agreed that China-US relations are one of the most important bilateral ties in the world. Though there exist some trade disputes, bilateral trade remains mutually beneficial and has benefited the national economies of both countries, and there is still broad prospect for their economic and trade cooperation.


They also agreed that the trade dialogues, held at a  critical moment for China-US trade and economic relations, were conducive to promoting understanding and cooperation between the two governments and properly resolving the trade frictions.


It was the first time think tanks of the two countries held such exchanges since early this year, when the world's top two economies started to plunge into an escalating trade spat, trigged by a series of unilateral moves adopted by the US administration.


The round tables followed the conclusion of a weeklong hearing in Washington on the US administration's proposed 25 percent duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The two countries have already slapped tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods.


Representatives from China included Fu Ying, vice-chairperson of the foreign affairs committee of the 13th National People's Congress, China's national legislature, former vice-commerce minister Zhu Guangyao and former vice-foreign minister He Yafei.


They said at the discussions that the US faces severe challenges under the pressure of sociopolitical division and economic transformation. It couldn't solve its own problem by taking up on  China as a scapegoat.


They said China opposed the US' bullying for concessions, and it will not, and indeed cannot, yield.


The two countries enjoy an all-around, complementary economic and trade cooperation, they are better together. It is therefore unrealistic to attempt to "decouple" China from the US or the world economy. China, with its ever-maturing huge market, is not only an integral part of the global economy, but also an indispensable source of growth.


Any such attempt will only hurt the world economy, including that of the US, they said.


US participants at the discussions include President of the Brookings Institution John Allen, former defense secretary William Cohen, and President and CEO of Asia Society Josette Sheeran.


They said that the US would ultimately have to resolve the trade disputes with China through negotiations and by expanding cooperation, managing their disparities and conducting constructive dialogue.

Key Words: China   US   trade   RDCY   

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