Bei­jing calls on US to ease trade rules

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHEN WEIHUA in Wash­ing­ton and AN BAIJIE in Bei­jing

Vice-Premier Wang Yang urged the United States on Tues­day to loosen its “out­dated” re­stric­tions on high-tech ex­ports to China so it can tap the vast Chi­nese mar­ket and re­duce the bi­lat­eral trade im­bal­ance.

Wang, who is in Wash­ing­ton for the first round of China-US Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Di­a­logue, said that as China up­grades its in­dus­tries, there is a huge mar­ket for US ex­ports of ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies, key equip­ment and crit­i­cal parts to China.

“Un­for­tu­nately, Amer­i­can busi­nesses have not had their fair share of the cake due to out­dated US reg­u­la­tions on ex­port con­trol,” he told a lun­cheon at­tended by US Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin,

Amer­i­can busi­nesses have not had their fair share of the cake due to out­dated US reg­u­la­tions on ex­port con­trol.” Vice-Premier Wang Yang

Com­merce Sec­re­tary Wil­bur Ross and hun­dreds of Chi­nese and US busi­ness lead­ers.

Wang cited China’s im­port of in­te­grated cir­cuits, which hit $227 bil­lion last year, more than the im­port of crude oil, iron ore and pri­mary plas­tics com­bined. But only 4 per­cent of China’s in­te­grated cir­cuit im­ports came from the US.

If the US were to lib­er­al­ize its ex­port bar­ri­ers against China to the same level ap­pli­ca­ble to France, the US trade deficit with China would drop by up to 34 per­cent, Wang said, cit­ing a Carnegie En­dow­ment for In­ter­na­tional Peace ar­ti­cle.

The de­mand for high-qual­ity US prod­ucts and ser­vices is grow­ing fast, ac­cord­ing to Wang. The US-China Busi­ness Coun­cil pre­dicted that US goods and ser­vices ex­ported to China will dou­ble to $369 bil­lion in the com­ing decade and rise to $520 bil­lion by 2050.

“China’s de­vel­op­ment and progress is a long-term cer­tainty, which of­fers the most im­por­tant ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment for for­eign busi­nesses to work with China,” Wang said.

“I am sure any busi­ness with vi­sion would value such a huge mar­ket, and any gov­ern­ment with am­bi­tion would value co­op­er­a­tion with China.”

He also stressed that co­op­er­a­tion is the only right choice for the two coun­tries, a mes­sage ex­pressed by sev­eral se­nior Chi­nese lead­ers. “The giant ship of China-US eco­nomic and trade re­la­tions is sail­ing on the right course,” Wang said.

For­eign Min­istry spokesman Lu Kang told a reg­u­lar news con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day in Bei­jing that Wang’s speech has sent three key mes­sages: co­op­er­a­tion is the only right choice for China and the US; China’s de­vel­op­ment has long-term cer­tain­ties; and the Chi­nese mar­ket has huge po­ten­tial.

Not­ing that it is nat­u­ral for the two coun­tries to have eco­nomic dis­agree­ments and fric­tion, Lu said the two sides could prop­erly han­dle dis­putes through di­a­logue with the prin­ci­ple of equal treat­ment and mu­tual trust.

Ross, the com­merce sec­re­tary, de­scribed the China-US trade and in­vest­ment re­la­tion­ship as “the most im­por­tant in the en­tire world”, say­ing “that re­la­tion­ship has brought ben­e­fits to both na­tions”.

He ap­plauded China’s re­sump­tion of US beef im­ports after 14 years and de­scribed it as just a start, given the huge Chi­nese mar­ket po­ten­tial.

“Even now, (al­though) we oc­ca­sion­ally dis­agree on in­di­vid­ual items, we have fun­da­men­tally shared ob­jec­tives. So I am very hope­ful about the op­por­tu­ni­ties through fur­ther suc­cess,” Ross said.

Se­ri­ous con­cerns about a trade war be­tween the two large coun­tries based on Trump’s tough cam­paign rhetoric have dis­si­pated dra­mat­i­cally the past few months, es­pe­cially after the first sum­mit be­tween Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Trump at the Mar-aLago re­sort in Palm Beach, Florida, in early April.

At Mar-a-Lago, the two sides es­tab­lished a four-track com­pre­hen­sive di­a­logue mech­a­nism and agreed to work on a 100-day ac­tion plan, which was due on July 16. Both sides have so far spo­ken pos­i­tively of the progress made within a rel­a­tively short pe­riod of time.

YURI GRIPAS / REUTERS

Vice-Premier Wang Yang and US Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steve Mnuchin talk be­fore the China-US Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Di­a­logue, where they dis­cussed eco­nomic and trade is­sues in Wash­ing­ton.

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