Be­ing prac­ti­cal and fair is the art of the deal

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

On Satur­day, the lead­ers of China and the United States agreed to take mea­sures to ease bi­lat­eral trade ten­sions and keep in close con­tact. Jin Can­rong, a pro­fes­sor on Sino-US re­la­tions at Ren­min Univer­sity of China, com­mented on guan­cha.cn:

The agree­ment is a win-win re­sult for both coun­tries. US farm­ers suf­fered from de­clin­ing ex­ports to China be­cause of the higher tar­iffs. The agree­ment solved that prob­lem as China has agreed to im­port more agri­cul­tural prod­ucts such as soy­beans from the US.

Be­sides, China has promised to strengthen its le­gal en­force­ment over fen­tanyl, which might help to ease the opioid cri­sis in the US.

For China, it is a good re­sult, too, be­cause the US has dropped a past re­quire­ment for China to give up its Made in China 2025 plan. That’s not only an achieve­ment for China, but also sends a clear sig­nal that the US is will­ing to sit down and ne­go­ti­ate. There is space for the two sides to reach a com­pre­hen­sive agree­ment, and they vowed to talk for 90 days to try and ham­mer out one.

It should be stressed that there are un­friendly voices to China in­side the US gov­ern­ment. For ex­am­ple, US Vice-Pres­i­dent Mike Pence de­liv­ered re­marks at the Hud­son In­sti­tute in Oc­to­ber, which were widely con­sid­ered an an­nounce­ment of a new Cold War. But if the US lead­er­ship has cho­sen ne­go­ti­a­tion in­stead of an­tag­o­nism at last, it will ben­e­fit both coun­tries.

In the 90-day buf­fer pe­riod, both sides have a win­dow to ne­go­ti­ate a so­lu­tion. But will this op­por­tu­nity be grasped, no one can be sure.

So the ques­tion be­comes: Will the two coun­tries’ ne­go­ti­a­tions suc­ceed in find­ing a so­lu­tion? That de­pends on whether the US will give up its un­rea­son­able re­quire­ments. There are still many un­rea­son­able and un­fair re­quire­ments, such as the US blam­ing China for sub­si­diz­ing cer­tain in­dus­tries, even though the US sub­si­dizes more in­dus­tries than China does.

It is time the US gave up the un­rea­son­able re­quire­ments. Be prac­ti­cal and be fair — that’s the key to a suc­cess­ful ne­go­ti­a­tion.

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