Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Dec.8, 2003 proposed five principles on fair trade and economic partnership between China and the United States.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who was paying an official visit to the United States, holds talks with the US President Bush in Washington in this December 9, 2003 file photo. [China-embassay.org]
Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the American Bankers Association in New York, Wen listed the five principles as following:
-- First, mutual benefit and win-win result. Thinking broadly, one should take account of the other's interests while pursuing its own.
-- Second, development first. Existing differences should be resolved through expanded trade and economic cooperation.
-- Third, greater scope to coordinating mechanisms in bilateral trade and economic relations. Disputes should be addressed in a timely manner through communication and consultation to avoid possible escalation.
-- Fourth, equal consultation. The two sides should seek consensus while reserving differences on major issues, instead of imposing restrictions or sanctions at every turn.
-- Fifth, do not politicize economic and trade issues.
Wen said these five principles are based on the World Trade Organization framework and the existing norms of international trade. "They are essential for a correct understanding and proper handling of possible trade disputes or frictions between our two countries in the years ahead."
"The core elements of these principles are development, equality, and mutual benefit. Development is our driving force, equality the premise, and mutual benefit our goal. This, in my opinion, also serves the need for a constructive and cooperative relationship to which both sides are committed," he said.
Wen explained that "by putting development first, we mean to take a forward-looking approach that allows us to narrow the trade gap through continued expansion of two-way trade."
"We do not go after an increase of US trade deficit with China. But reducing Chinese exports to the US is no good answer, for so doing serves neither China nor the US in solving its unemployment problem. Instead, it will seriously harm the interests of millions of American consumers and US firms operating in China. A more realistic solution is for the US to expand its export to China," Wen said.
He said China on its part has demonstrated the utmost sincerity and made its greatest effort by substantially increasing import of farm products and machinery from the US, and placing more purchasing orders for needed American commodities.
He expressed the hope that the US will recognize China's market economy status, and lift its export restrictions on high-tech products. "I ardently hope that the relevant US departments will make a clean break with those obsolete concepts and anachronistic practices, and throw them into the Pacific Ocean, so as to boldly keep pace with the times," he said.