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Mutual trust holds key to trade talks

By Jing Shuiyu | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-05 07:16
[Photo/IC]

US side needs to realize that 'bullying measures' are not workable solutions

China and the United States need to build stronger mutual trust and understanding to advance their economic and trade consultation, experts said.

This call came after President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump agreed on Saturday at the G20 Summit to resume trade talks that were stalled in May.

"The Xi-Trump meeting at the G20 Summit is of great significance," said Dong Yan, director of the international trade office at the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The consensus reached between the two leaders to advance bilateral relations featuring "coordination, cooperation and stability" can guide the future direction of trade talks, Dong said. "It will help the two countries to get the talks back on track, which can ease the downward pressure on global economic growth," she said.

Although there are good prospects for the future, Dong noted, "There will be twists and turns along the way, so more mutual trust and understanding is needed between the two sides."

China and the US have been embroiled in a nearly yearlong trade dispute, and have exchanged tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's imports. Before the top leaders' meeting at the G20 Summit, negotiators from both sides had held 11 rounds of high-level talks.

Wang Xiaosong, a professor of international trade at Renmin University of China's School of Economics, said both negotiating teams need to make continued efforts in the upcoming negotiations.

"Trade talks should be conducted in the spirit of equality and mutual benefit. Negotiators need to enhance their mutual trust and get a greater understanding of each other," he said.

Possible factors impeding the progress of the talks include the fact that the two sides still have a difference over China's purchase value of US products, he added.

After his meeting with Xi on Saturday, Trump said at a news conference that existing tariffs would remain in place on Chinese imports while negotiations continue, but additional tariffs he had threatened to impose on other Chinese goods would not proceed for the "time being", US media reported.

Gao Feng, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, said on Thursday that if China and the US could reach a trade deal, the US must eliminate all tariffs that have been imposed on Chinese imports.

Dong said: "The US side needs to realize that trade bullying measures are not workable solutions to address existing issues with China. Furthermore, it is necessary to build a new mechanism that can fit the environment where the economic strengths of China and the US have been changing."

"The US side should become aware of China's sincerity in pushing forward with trade talks, as well as the country's concrete progress that has been made in reform and opening-up," Dong said. She cited that two shortened negative lists-identifying sectors in which foreign participation is restricted, will take effect on July 30.

Dong said there are encouraging signs that in the US, those who support the decoupling of the US and China economies had failed to get the upper hand.

While China and the US agreed to resume their talks, some argued that even though the two sides can possibly solve trade issues, their confrontation over technology would continue to intensify.

"Such an argument was influenced by the so-called 'China threat theory', and was exaggerated to some extent," said Zhou Mi, deputy director of the Institute of American and Oceania Studies of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.

"If the US side insists on its policies containing China's technologies, Chinese companies will concentrate their efforts in making more technological breakthroughs. They may offer products and services in accordance with a different system of standards (from the traditional one)," he said.

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