Visit expected to yield results, questions
leaders to continue the dialogue that they started at Mar-a-Lago,” Christopher K. Johnson, senior adviser and Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told a briefing on Wednesday.
Johnson said that it was striking to hear Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the US, say on Monday that he expected to see movement on both North Korea and trade.
At a news briefing on Monday, Cui said that Trump’s first state visit to China, coming at a “historic moment” after a key Party congress in Beijing, will be a successful trip with significant outcomes on trade, the Korean Peninsula and other issues.
Johnson said it wasn’t clear from the US administration’s signaling whether the US’ economic effort at the summit is going to be focused on deal-signing or market-access issues.
He said he got the sense that China is willing to sign trade deals, as reflected in Cui’s comments in which he said trade deficits are bad for China’s own economy in the long run.
“So I think that’s really the challenge we face, is just a lack of clarity in general on the US priorities going into this meeting,” he said. “So I think China’s approach will be to do enough on these critical issues of trade and North Korea to hopefully have this reset.”
Cui said that China is ready to buy more US products.
“If the US side could lift some of the restrictions it has put (in place) so far, on exports to China, of hightech products for civilian use, this could greatly increase exports and go a long way towards balancing bilateral trade between China and the United States,” he said.
The White House, in commenting on whether the US president is “prepared enough to talk about the imbalances in the trade relationships,” said Trump is well prepared to discuss the issue.