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Consensus good for the world, analysts say

By CECILY LIU,ZHAO HUANXIN | China Daily | Updated: 2018-12-03 03:19
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Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with his US counterpart Donald Trump in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Dec 1, 2018. [Photo by Li Xueren/Xinhua]

Cooling-off period a welcome development

The consensus reached between China and the United States to take measures to ease bilateral trade tensions is being hailed in the international community as beneficial to the global economy, experts said.

President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, agreed on Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during their meeting on the sidelines of the just-concluded G20 Leaders' Summit to take measures to ease bilateral trade tensions and maintain close communication.

Jon Taylor, professor of political science of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, said the meeting was key to restoring respect in the China-US relationship, which many believe is the most consequential bilateral one in the world today.

"The greatest achievements by far were agreements in principle to stop any additional tariffs and to open each other's markets.

"I expect that the markets will react positively to this meeting's primary achievement: the beginning of the end of the trade war," Taylor said.

Fu Li, a professor at Portland State University in the US state of Oregon, said he was very encouraged by the "spirit and outcome" of the meeting between the presidents as they are pursuing trade talks instead of a trade war, as there will be no winners in a trade war.

"The leaders of the two countries demonstrated political wisdom to resolve their differences," he said. "A healthy relationship between the world's two biggest economies will set a healthy tone for the global economy in 2019."

Ivona Ladjevac, head of the regional center for the Belt and Road Initiative at the Institute of International Politics and Economics in Belgrade, Serbia, said it is encouraging that Xi said he and Trump have a good vision for the healthy and stable development of China-US relations and for expanding economic and trade cooperation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump meet in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Dec 1, 2018. [Photo by Li Xueren/Xinhua]

Ladjevac said: "In a world of growing interdependence, dialogue between countries is a crucial precondition to preserve as much stable order as possible to create opportunities for development of each member of the international community. Considering the fact that China and the US are the biggest economies makes dialogue between their leaders even more significant."

"Having a dialogue at such a venue as the G20 Summit lends support to the multilateral forum, and is an effort to overcome existing difficulties and to give an impetus for further activities of the G20 in order to pursue its goals," Ladjevac added.

She further advocated the necessity of open discussions when dealing with international trade friction. Any trade war between these two countries should be solved as quickly as possible, not only for the sake of the US and China but for the entire world, she said.

Osoro Omboga, an economist and consultant at Smartcomm Communications, a think tank based in Kenya, said a pause in trade hostilities between the world's two biggest economies is seen as a welcome development in Africa.

The two leaders showed character and fortitude in calming the choppy waters and were consciously aware that their very actions carried serious repercussions globally, particularly in Africa, as the continent supplies intermediate products into global supply chains, the economist said.

David Gosset, founder of the Europe-China Forum, said that given the complexities of Sino-US relations and recent tensions, it can be said that what happened in Argentina between the two leaders "stopped a negative trend".

The working dinner between Trump and Xi allowed direct interaction and dialogue between the leaders, and dialogue at the highest possible level is essential to maintaining synergy and mutual understanding, he said.

Reaching a consensus to avoid the escalation of tariffs is highly constructive, Gosset said.

"Sino-US relations cannot be about one event. They are about a long-term process. But such a process is made of steps, and the event in Argentina is certainly a step in the right direction," he said.

Chang Jun in San Francisco, Chen Weihua in Brussels and Tang Ying in Nairobi contributed to this story.

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