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Wu urges US to loosen export controls
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-23 22:04

Visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi urged the United States on Thursday to relax unreasonable controls on its exports to China and cautioned against a recent rise in US trade protectionism.

Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi addresses the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, April 22, 2004. [Xinhua]

"The United States does have a trade deficit with China and I fully understand the concern of the American side. I believe the key to solving the problem is to expand American export to China rather than restricting American imports from China," Wu said at a dinner co-sponsored by the US-China Business Council, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the National Committee on US-China Relations.

Wu said the imbalance in China-US trade could have resulted from many and complicated reasons, such as trade structure and trade diversion, different statistical methodology, and unreasonable controls on US export to China.

The vice-premier, who led a high-level Chinese delegation to attend the 15th session of the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade held on Wednesday, said China attaches great importance to the imbalance in China-US trade and has made tremendous efforts to deal with the issue over the years.

She said that the United States' worldwide exports grew by only 9 per cent in the past three years but its exports to China increased by a massive 76 per cent during the same period.

"And those numbers are collected from your side," Wu said to about 500 US business people at the dinner.

"To expand US export to China requires more than the unilateral efforts of China," Wu said. "The American side should also show sincerity and take concrete actions to relax unreasonable control on its export to China and remove that biggest obstacle against its export to China."

Wu continued that trade should be two-way and opening should be on a mutual basis. She expressed concerns that there is a recent rise in trade protectionism in the United States and many Chinese products are treated unfairly.

"Trade protectionism can never inject vitality into economy or provide fundamental solution to the unemployment problem," she stressed.

As for the protection of intellectual property rights, Wu said, it is needed not only in efforts to carry out international co-operation, but also in efforts to improve the market economic system and develop the Chinese economy.

She said the Chinese Government is a responsible government and will adopt a clear-cut attitude and take resolute actions on this issue.

The vice-premier also clarified the Chinese Government's position on the renminbi exchange rate, and listed progress China has made in fulfilling its World Trade Organization commitments.

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