With a lit­tle give and take, di­a­logue can bear fruit

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

There were a num­ber of prac­ti­cal out­comes from the meet­ing be­tween the US and Chi­nese pres­i­dents in Florida back in April. Among them are a 100-day eco­nomic plan for co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the world’s two largest economies and the re­struc­tur­ing of their wide-rang­ing high-level di­a­logues into four more fo­cused di­a­logue mech­a­nisms, in­clud­ing one on their eco­nomic ties. As the first round of China-US Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Di­a­logue com­menced in Wash­ing­ton DC on Wed­nes­day, it was en­cour­ag­ing to note that since the two coun­tries ini­ti­ated their dis­cus­sions on the 100-day eco­nomic plan, they have made head­way in nar­row­ing some of the di­ver­gences be­tween them. More im­por­tant, the in­ten­sive en­gage­ment over the 100 days is said to have helped the re­spec­tive eco­nomic teams build trust.

There are ex­pec­ta­tions, there­fore, that the eco­nomic di­a­logue will make more progress in eas­ing trade fric­tions and bridg­ing the dif­fer­ences that ex­ist be­tween the two sides.

There are com­plaints from the US side that the talks progress too slowly. US com­pa­nies are ea­ger to gain greater ac­cess to the Chi­nese mar­ket, and Wash­ing­ton is urg­ing China to open up more quickly and cut its trade sur­plus with the United States.

Yet to fur­ther re­duce the trade sur­plus, China needs to im­port more from the US, not only beef and beans, but also high tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts. This re­quires the US to take fur­ther steps to clear trade bar­ri­ers in the form of out­dated ex­port con­trols, a byprod­uct of the Cold War, rather than uni­lat­er­ally push China to open its mar­ket wider.

China’s im­port of in­te­grated cir­cuits reached $227 bil­lion last year, more than that of crude oil, iron ore and pri­mary plas­tics com­bined. Yet only 4 per­cent of the IC im­port came from the US due to its ex­port curbs, Vice-Premier Wang Yang said at a fo­rum one day be­fore the di­a­logue.

Also, if the US could lib­er­al­ize its ex­port bar­ri­ers against China to the same level as those ap­pli­ca­ble to Brazil, the US trade deficit with China would nar­row by up to 24 per­cent, he added, cit­ing an April ar­ti­cle by the Carnegie En­dow­ment for In­ter­na­tional Peace.

Ac­cord­ing to the US-China Busi­ness Coun­cil, US ex­ports of goods and ser­vices to China will dou­ble to $369 bil­lion in the next decade. With this big pic­ture in mind, po­lit­i­cal and busi­ness lead­ers of both sides should bear in mind they have a shared stake in putting aside their dif­fer­ences and work­ing to­gether for a brighter fu­ture for Sino-US eco­nomic ex­changes.

What­ever the speed of progress in the nitty-gritty de­tails of their to-and-fro, it is essen­tial that the two sides con­tinue to work to­gether to move their co­op­er­a­tion for­ward in a con­struc­tive fash­ion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.