Con­sen­sus good for the world, an­a­lysts say

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Front Page - By ZHAO HUANXIN in New York and CECILY LIU in London

The con­sen­sus reached be­tween China and the United States to take mea­sures to ease bi­lat­eral trade ten­sions is be­ing hailed in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity as ben­e­fi­cial to the global econ­omy, ex­perts said.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and his US coun­ter­part, Don­ald Trump, agreed on Satur­day in Buenos Aires, Ar­gentina, dur­ing their meet­ing on the side­lines of the just-con­cluded G20 Lead­ers’ Sum­mit to take mea­sures to ease bi­lat­eral trade ten­sions and main­tain close com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Jon Tay­lor, pro­fes­sor of po­lit­i­cal sci­ence of the Univer­sity of St. Thomas in Houston, said the meet­ing was key to restor­ing re­spect in the China-US re­la­tion­ship, which many be­lieve is the most con­se­quen­tial bi­lat­eral one in the world to­day.

“The great­est achieve­ments by far were agree­ments in prin­ci­ple to stop any ad­di­tional tar­iffs and to open each other’s mar­kets.

“I ex­pect that the mar­kets will re­act pos­i­tively to this meet­ing’s pri­mary achieve­ment: the be­gin­ning of the end of the trade war,” Tay­lor said.

Fu Li, a pro­fes­sor at Port­land State Univer­sity in the US state of Ore­gon, said he was very en­cour­aged by the “spirit and out­come” of the meet­ing be­tween the pres­i­dents as they are pur­su­ing trade talks in­stead of a trade war, as there will be no win­ners in a trade war.

“The lead­ers of the two coun­tries demon­strated po­lit­i­cal wis­dom to re­solve their dif­fer­ences,” he said. “A healthy re­la­tion­ship be­tween the world’s two big­gest economies will set a healthy tone for the global econ­omy in 2019.”

Ivona Lad­je­vac, head of the re­gional cen­ter for the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive at the In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Pol­i­tics and Eco­nom­ics in Bel­grade, Ser­bia, said it is en­cour­ag­ing that Xi said he and Trump have a good vi­sion for the healthy and sta­ble de­vel­op­ment of China-US re­la­tions and for ex­pand­ing eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion.

Lad­je­vac said: “In a world of growing in­ter­de­pen­dence, di­a­logue be­tween coun­tries is a cru­cial pre­con­di­tion to pre­serve as much sta­ble or­der as pos­si­ble to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for de­vel­op­ment of each mem­ber of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. Con­sid­er­ing the fact that China and the US are the big­gest economies makes di­a­logue be­tween their lead­ers even more sig­nif­i­cant.”

“Hav­ing a di­a­logue at such a venue as the G20 Sum­mit lends sup­port to the mul­ti­lat­eral fo­rum, and is an ef­fort to over­come ex­ist­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and to give an im­pe­tus for fur­ther ac­tiv­i­ties of the G20 in or­der to pur­sue its goals,” Lad­je­vac added.

She fur­ther ad­vo­cated the ne­ces­sity of open dis­cus­sions when deal­ing with in­ter­na­tional trade fric­tion. Any trade war be­tween th­ese two coun­tries should be solved as quickly as pos­si­ble, not only for the sake of the US and China but for the en­tire world, she said.

Osoro Om­boga, an econ­o­mist and con­sul­tant at Smart­comm Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, a think tank based in Kenya, said a pause in trade hos­til­i­ties be­tween the world’s two big­gest economies is seen as a wel­come de­vel­op­ment in Africa.

The two lead­ers showed char­ac­ter and for­ti­tude in calm­ing the choppy wa­ters and were con­sciously aware that their very ac­tions car­ried se­ri­ous reper­cus­sions glob­ally, par­tic­u­larly in Africa, as the con­ti­nent sup­plies in­ter­me­di­ate prod­ucts into global sup­ply chains, the econ­o­mist said.

David Gos­set, founder of the Eu­rope-China Fo­rum, said that given the com­plex­i­ties of Sino-US re­la­tions and re­cent ten­sions, it can be said that what hap­pened in Ar­gentina be­tween the two lead­ers “stopped a neg­a­tive trend”.

The work­ing din­ner be­tween Trump and Xi al­lowed di­rect in­ter­ac­tion and di­a­logue be­tween the lead­ers, and di­a­logue at the high­est pos­si­ble level is es­sen­tial to main­tain­ing syn­ergy and mu­tual un­der­stand­ing, he said.

Reach­ing a con­sen­sus to avoid the es­ca­la­tion of tar­iffs is highly con­struc­tive, Gos­set said.

“Sino-US re­la­tions can­not be about one event. They are about a long-term process. But such a process is made of steps, and the event in Ar­gentina is cer­tainly a step in the right di­rec­tion,” he said.

Chang Jun in San Fran­cisco, Chen Weihua in Brus­sels and Tang Ying in Nairobi con­trib­uted to this story.

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhao­[email protected] chi­

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