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Can China and U.S. reach a final deal?


Source: CGTN    Published: 2019-1-24

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to visit the U.S. on January 30 and 31 for further negotiations on China-U.S. trade and economic issues, according to the Ministry of Commerce of China.

But mixed messages have been reported by the Financial Times and CNBC earlier this week that Washington had canceled a preliminary trade meeting with China. However, the White House economic aide Larry Kudlow later clarified that the report was false.

Now, with China and the U.S. more than halfway through a 90-day trade truce, whether the two sides can finally reach a deal remains a top concern for both sides.

Robert Koepp, director of The Economist Corporate Network in Hong Kong, holds a pessimistic view on the upcoming negotiation. However, he is also open to the possibility of a good result coming out of it, as the U.S. has “a very unpredictable president,” who may surprise the world with some compromise during the negations.

He told CGTN Dialogue that the key issue of the bilateral talks is structural issues, such as intellectual property rights protection and technology transfer. “These things are what the U.S. considers as deeper and more systemic problems,” he said.

He Weiwen, senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China, echoed with Robert's view, who believes that what the U.S. side wants, essentially, is for China to change practices on these issues.

“There are three fundamental issues: the first is the protection of intellectual property rights, second is to remove compulsory technology transfer, the third is to totally change the government's role in subsidizing the industries,” he said.

Yang Xiyu, senior fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, believes that the Trump administration “will not force China to a corner.”

“The volume of China-U.S. trade takes up about 15 percent of China's total, and 16 percent of the U.S. total. So if the US wants to cut off completely the trade with China, that means they are going to shoot their own feet,” he said.

He predicted that the bilateral talks might try to address two issues, “trade deficits” and “structural problems”, with the latter being the focus. In the meantime, he also emphasized that “forcing China to change course” is the fundamental demand of the U.S. side.

He Weiwen is senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China.

Key Words: China   US   trade   He Weiwen  

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