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Expert: China, US need to enhance cooperation

By Jing Shuiyu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-09 08:25

China's imports from the United States are likely to grow substantially in the high-end sector with scope for further cooperation in sectors like aerospace and new energy research, a top expert said.

Wei Jianguo, vice-president of the Beijing-based China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said: "Beyond traditional goods like beef and aircraft, China would increase imports from the US in life sciences, new materials and healthcare sector in the next five years."

Wei's comments come at a time when US President Donald Trump is making a state visit to China amid mounting trade friction between the two sides.

The two sides are also expected to further collaboration in the services, cross-border e-commerce and outsourcing sectors, he said.

Such efforts will allow the Sino-US trade to grow "from single-track to multi-track pattern," he said, which would decrease the US' trade deficit with China.

Healthy economic and trade ties are considered pillars of Sino-US relations. Bilateral trade in goods increased from $2.5 billion in 1979 to $519.6 billion in 2016, an increase of over 200 times, according to Zhong Shan, the Chinese minister of commerce.

In April, China and the US agreed to establish a comprehensive economic dialogue and initiate a 100-day economic cooperation plan. About a month later, the two countries announced initial results in areas like agriculture, electronic payments, financial services and energy.

For instance, China resumed US beef imports, which were halted in 2003, in a move to boost economic ties and further balance the trade surplus with the US.

"In future, China would work closer with the US on fueling technology and innovation in fields like aerospace, new energy, and smart cities," Wei said. "There are also great possibilities for cooperation in aviation, railways and manufacturing sectors."

More opportunities will be identified among different entities like think tanks, privately owned enterprises, associations, chambers of commerce, intermediaries and financial services, he added.

The Trump administration, espousing trade protectionism, had repeatedly blamed China for its worsening trade deficit.

Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the US, said the trade imbalance is "a structural problem" rather than something "caused by somebody's policy".

"We certainly want to have more balanced trade. But this will have to be done over time. You cannot reduce the trade deficit overnight..." Cui told the Financial Times.

Liu Yukun contributed to the story.

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