Editor’s note: 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.