California summit gives momentum for bilateral ties

By ZHAO HUANXIN in Washington | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-12-29 10:10
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A member of the audience learns dance moves during the "Discover Beijing Opera" cultural event held by the Chinese embassy in Washington's Public Diplomacy Center on Oct 15. ZHAO HUANXIN/CHINA DAILY

Freeman also said 2023 saw a "moderation" in the tone of the relationship that constitutes a measure of detente, in which both sides clearly hope to stabilize things and to reduce the danger of accidental conflict.

"I remain confident that common interests will, in time, draw the United States and China together, but this will take time," he said.

For Gary Clyde Hufbauer, a senior fellow and trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, prospects in the new year for further agreements on individual trade and investment issues have improved, as both heads of state want better relations.

"The problem is that US congressional hawks are pushing a long list of measures that would badly damage relations if enacted. It remains to be seen how big an election issue this agenda will become," Hufbauer said.

Right now, inflation, immigration, the Palestine-Israel conflict and the Russia-Ukraine conflict are more contentious issues for the US presidential election in November 2024, he said.

Overall, the China-US relationship is not as good as he had hoped a year ago, but it is better than expected, he said.

"It's regrettable that Biden did not eliminate most of the Trump tariffs on imports from China, but the year could have been worse. While US semiconductor exports were broadly restricted, and while more Chinese firms were added to the 'do-not-trade' entity list, Biden did not completely cave in to the demands of congressional China hawks," he said.

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