Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan called for bilateral talks to resolve China-US trade frictions, and warned of the dangers of surging populism and unilateralism on Tuesday at the New Economy Forum (NEF) 2018 in Singapore.
“China will stay calm and sober-minded and embrace greater openness. Both China and the US would love to see greater trade and cooperation. We are ready to discuss and work out solutions on trade acceptable to both sides,” Wang said at the forum, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Bloomberg media group was the organizer of the NEF.
Today’s world faces many problems that require close cooperation between China and the US, Wang said, stressing that both sides will gain from working together and will lose from confrontation.
Wang denounced trade unilateralism and espoused the importance of settling any disputes through a rules-based system, Bloomberg reported.
Trade is still the anchor of steady and sound China-US relations, Wang stated.
Chinese analysts said Wang’s remarks reiterated China’s consistent attitude on trade frictions with the US. China has called for a resolution through dialogue and consultations on the basis of equality, good faith and mutual respect, instead of pursuing unilateralism and protectionism.
Liu Weidong, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), told the Global Times that the two sides should make efforts to end the trade war while not damaging either side’s interests.
“US President Donald Trump’s trade war against China is not only aimed at reducing the trade deficit. With the trade war at the center, he is exerting overall pressure on China,” Liu said.
As to the “America First” policy that Trump is promoting in the name of populism and unilateralism, Liu said it is against the trend toward globalization and is harmful to China-US ties, which will not contribute to the US’ long-term interests.
Ni Feng, deputy director of the CASS’ Institute of American Studies, warned that the US had already kept inflation rates low since the 1990s, but the situation will definitely break when the US economy suffers from the trade war.
The US government proposed additional tariffs on approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in July. The additional tariffs, initially 10 percent, came into effect in September and will be increased to 25 percent in January 2019. China responded by announcing additional tariffs on $60 billion in US products in August.
Ni said that Trump, who is believed to use the trade war with China to win the midterm elections, has led himself to an uncertain status.
Trump’s approval rating in a recent CNN poll stood at 39 percent, with 55 percent disapproving, slightly worse than in early October, when 41 percent approved of his performance and 52 percent disapproved, CNN reported on Monday.
Breaking the logjam
China and the US agreed to hold the second round of the Diplomatic and Security Dialogue on Friday in Washington DC to exchange views on China-US relations and other vital issues of mutual concern, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a routine press briefing on Tuesday.
The announcement follows Chinese President Xi Jinping’s phone call with Trump on Thursday, when the two agreed to meet one-on-one at the upcoming G20 summit from November 30 and December 1 in Buenos Aires. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang described the conversation as “quite positive.”
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said at an event in Washington that Trump and Xi might be able to break the logjam on issues, Bloomberg reported Friday.
Chinese analysts said that the phone call, which came half a year after their previous call in May, shows the resilience of the bilateral ties and proves that the communication mechanism between the two sides remains effective and respected by both sides as an ideal channel to resolve disputes.
However, Liu said it is hard for Trump to change his tough line on the trade war with China in a short term until the impact of the China-US trade war such as price increases, job and investment losses appear.
Wang said that China will adhere to the opening-up policy, create more opportunities for the world and promote the Belt and Road initiative to benefit people along the routes.
Wang reiterated Xi’s remarks at the opening ceremony of the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai that China will not close its door to the world and will only become more and more open .
China’s previous opening-up was mainly aimed at promoting domestic development. In the future it will serve as a platform for global trade that benefits other countries, Ni stressed.
Feb 22, 2019 0
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily