US, China suc­cess ben­e­fits whole world

People's Review - - OP-ED - (The au­thor is US am­bas­sador to China. opin­ion@glob­al­ BY TERRY BRANSTAD

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ar­rives in Bei­jing on a state visit Wed­nes­day. I am ex­cited to wel­come him on his first visit to China as the US pres­i­dent. My wife Chris and I have greatly en­joyed the hos­pi­tal­ity of the Chi­nese peo­ple, and I trust Pres­i­dent Trump and First Lady Me­la­nia Trump will en­joy a sim­i­lar warm wel­come. In the 45 years since for­mer pres­i­dent Richard Nixon's his­toric visit to China, many Amer­i­can pres­i­dents have vis­ited China. And many Chi­nese pres­i­dents have vis­ited the United States. Pres­i­dent Trump most re­cently hosted Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping in Florida, and this week's meet­ings are the next step in con­tin­u­ing this his­toric tra­di­tion. Over the past few weeks, as Amer­i­can and Chi­nese diplo­mats have been work­ing to­gether to pre­pare for the visit, I have re­flected back on an ear­lier trip, when, in 1985, I wel­comed a Chi­nese agri­cul­ture del­e­ga­tion to my home state of Iowa. A black-and-white pic­ture from that visit now hangs in my home in Bei­jing. In the pic­ture there is a young man by the name of Xi Jin­ping. It re­minds me that these trips are more than pomp and cir­cum­stance. They can have real im­pact. I know that es­tab­lish­ing a per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with China's fu­ture pres­i­dent changed the course of my life. This week brings a new op­por­tu­nity. The eyes of the world will be fixed on Pres­i­dent Trump and on Pres­i­dent Xi as they meet. These meet­ings are an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity for our lead­ers to fol­low up on the four high-level bi­lat­eral dia­logues held ear­lier this year, and to en­sure that our se­nior-level en­gage­ment yields con­crete re­sults. These should im­prove our bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship by en­hanc­ing re­gional se­cu­rity, re­duc­ing the trade im­bal­ance, and ex­pand­ing co­op­er­a­tion to new ar­eas. The world de­pends on the US and China to re­spond to the North Korean nu­clear is­sue. We voted to­gether this year at the United Na­tions to pass UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tions 2371 and 2375, through which the global com­mu­nity is col­lec­tively re­spond­ing to North Korea's il­le­gal nu­clear tests. The US and China must con­tinue to stand to­gether, to ap­ply max­i­mum pres­sure to make the North Korean regime re­al­ize de­nu­cle­ariza­tion is the only way for­ward. As North Korea's largest trad­ing part­ner, shar­ing its long­est bor­der, China's power to in­flu­ence North Korea is unique. Pres­i­dent Trump is also fo­cused on im­prov­ing and en­hanc­ing our bi­lat­eral trade re­la­tion­ship. Com­merce has long been the corner­stone of our re­la­tion­ship. China is now the largest US goods-trad­ing part­ner and largest US ex­port mar­ket out­side North Amer­ica. Bi­lat­eral trade ex­ceeds $650 bil­lion. Two-way di­rect in­vest­ment has topped $300 bil­lion. Ev­ery year, 2.5 mil­lion Chi­nese visit the US. And over 320,000 Chi­nese stu­dents cur­rently at­tend US col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties. Trade and in­vest­ment are good for both coun­tries. Mov­ing for­ward, these el­e­ments of our com­mer­cial en­gage­ment must be fair, bal­anced, and re­cip­ro­cal. China's re­form and open­ing-up de­liv­ered rapid growth to China, and con­tin­ued open­ing of its mar­kets will al­low its econ­omy to thrive for gen­er­a­tions. And that's the good news here: mak­ing the eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship be­tween our two great coun­tries fair, bal­anced, and re­cip­ro­cal will ben­e­fit both Amer­i­can and Chi­nese peo­ple. New Chi­nese in­vest­ment into the US ap­proached $50 bil­lion in 2016. Chi­nese in­vestors pur­chased stakes in US fi­nan­cial com­pa­nies, tech com­pa­nies, the me­dia in­dus­try and many other sec­tors. As one of the world's most open economies, the US has long ben­e­fit­ted from be­ing one of the world's top des­ti­na­tions for for­eign in­vest­ment. And we will con­tinue to wel­come it. In con­trast, US firms have told me they feel less wel­come here in China than in years past. Mar­ket bar­ri­ers in­creas­ingly block US ex­ports of goods, ser­vices, and in­vest­ments, while US com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in China face in­creas­ingly con­stricted op­er­at­ing con­di­tions. Both the Chi­nese and Amer­i­can peo­ple have much to gain from rolling back these re­stric­tions and ex­pand­ing mar­ket ac­cess. Re­mov­ing trade bar­ri­ers is a win-win propo­si­tion, as it would in­crease the Chi­nese econ­omy's pro­duc­tiv­ity, con­sumer wel­fare, and in­no­va­tion, while de­creas­ing the US trade deficit. The US and China each have a strong stake in the other's suc­cess. And when we suc­ceed, the whole world ben­e­fits.

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