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Furthering China-US trade

By Zou Lixing | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-06 07:11

China Forum | Zou Lixing

To improve bilateral ties, the two nations should seek common grounds, enhance cooperation and take globalization forward

As the Chinese economy beats the odds of global financial crisis and growth slowdown, trade frictions between China and the United States, such as those over trade imbalance, renminbi exchange rate, intellectual property right protection and market access, have increased and bilateral economic and trade ties are becoming more politicized. These are not unexpected developments even though China-US trade ties are bilaterally the most important in the world. And since their causes are complicated, they have to be properly addressed to promote healthy bilateral relations.

First, the trade frictions reflect the conflict between developed and developing countries amid complex changes across the globe where the developed world is represented by the US and the developing by China.

Second, the frictions mirror the complexity of China-US economic and trade ties. The unstable and uncertain global political and economic climate makes it more complicated for the two countries to adhere to the principle of opening-up in trade. And different stipulations of bilateral free trade agreements and regional trade agreements form the "Spaghetti bowl" phenomenon and effect, further complicating the situation.

Third, the frictions are the result of both sides' underestimation of and insufficient preparation for the changes in world. Many people in the US, for example, cannot accept China's rapid development over the past few decades. In China, on the other hand, some people get carried away by GDP data and assume China has become a developed country and even a superpower. The fact is China's economic and social development still lags far behind that of developed countries. Though China may gradually overtake the developed world in terms of economic aggregate, the power of the developed countries will not necessarily subside any time soon.

Fourth, the trade frictions reflect the insufficient understanding between China and the US. As a country that advocates "harmony foremost", China does not have the culture to offend others. China is endeavoring to empower and rejuvenate itself, but it has no intention of building a "Central Kingdom", expanding its territory or seeking hegemony. China is striving to maintain its national unity, territorial integrity and economic prosperity. But unlike China, the US pays too much attention to ideology and tries to force its ideas on other countries.

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