As the United States reviews its restrictions on hi-tech exports to China, the Ministry of Commerce's spokesman urged the US to shorten the timetable for loosening export controls.
US President Barack Obama has asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and relevant agencies to re-examine the nation's limits on hi-tech equipment shipped to China, said US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in Beijing yesterday. He is accompanying President Obama on his visit to China.
The US is making efforts to "rebalance export control," said Locke.
Though the US must maintain oversight of sensitive technologies dealing with national security, it needs to loosen restrictions on technologies that pose no harm to the US, he added.
Hi-tech export control is among the topics, including anti-protectionism and intellectual property rights, to be discussed between Chinese and US trade officials during Obama's visit, said Yao Jian, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce at a briefing yesterday in Beijing. He urged the US to "loosen the hi-tech export restrictions as soon as possible".
Washington's restrictions on hi-tech exports have "indeed affected unbalanced Sino-US trade ties" and "strongly restrained the competitiveness of US-made products," Yao said.
Chinese hi-tech imports from the US have shrunk since 2001. Eight years ago, the US accounted for 18.3 percent of Chinese hi-tech imports - it is now at 7 percent, said Yao.
"The US exports less than most developed countries and must do more Increasing exports is a key part to create jobs in the US," said Locke.
"China welcomes the US expanding exports to China," says Yao. "Service industries and high technologies should be the strength of the US in Sino-US trade," he added.
Tensions between China and the US have been rising as the US has imposed 10 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations on Chinese products this year.
Locke said trade disputes are a "natural part" of bilateral trade ties and "the US is not engaged in protectionism."
Several agreements related to clean-energy technologies will be signed between China and the US during Obama's visit, Locke said.
Direct investment from the US to China was $2.83 billion in the first 10 months, ranking fifth in terms of amount after individual investments in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore, according to figures released by Ministry of Commerce yesterday.
Foreign direct investment in China continued to grow in October for the third consecutive month, indicating that China remains buoyant on the prospects of attracting foreign funds.
China's foreign direct investment increased to $7.1 billion in October, up 5.7 percent over the previous year. More than 18,000 foreign-invested companies were approved in the first ten months, down 20.1 percent year on year, involving investments worth $70.9 billion.
(China Daily 11/17/2009 page4)