China lists specific areas for negotiations with US
China said on Thursday it will immediately implement the consensus reached with the US to reduce trade friction, starting with the agriculture, energy and automobile sectors. China also denied it made a “great concession” to the US, saying that the measures are in accordance with domestic needs
for reform and opening-up.
The remarks were made by Gao Feng, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) at a regular press conference on Thursday.
“In the following 90 days, China will immediately implement the consensus made between the leaders of the two countries and will follow a clear schedule and road map to consult with the US in sectors such as intellectual property rights [IPR], technology cooperation, market access and trade balance,” said Gao.
“The ultimate goal for the two countries is to remove all the new tariffs based on mutual respect and mutual benefits,” he said.
The spokesperson noted that teams from both sides are having smooth communication and good cooperation.
“We are fully confident of achieving a consensus with the US side in the following days,” Gao said.
Analysts called for a cautious attitude toward negotiations, saying the truce does not mean an end to the trade war.
Chen Fengying, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing, said that the trade talks will definitely lead to a result, but it’s too early to say whether the result will be satisfactory for China, as the US is publicly adopting a tougher stance.
Chen told the Global Times that China’s economic teams responsible for the trade talks should “focus on the talks and not be distracted by strategies used by the US side aiming to gain more interests.”
The MOFCOM spokesperson dismissed the narrative China was making “great concession” at all the negotiations.
“Protecting IPR, promoting fair competition and relaxing market entry are common needs of both Chinese and US enterprises, and are highly in accordance with China’s goal of deepening reform and expanding the scope of opening-up,” Gao said.
“China has also been expanding imports in recent years in order to satisfy Chinese people’s pursuit of a better life and to achieve a high-quality development,” he said.
Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce’s International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times on Thursday that China has already showed its sincerity and initiative in pushing for a better relationship with the US.
On Wednesday the State Council, China’s cabinet, passed a draft amendment to the Patent Law to protect IPR and combat infringement.
The amendment comes one day after the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, issued a joint memorandum, one of the most detailed documents on IPR protection issued by China, on penalties for serious breaches.
“To pursue a better trade relationship is also in the interests of the US,” Bai said, as Washington was “facing pressure from both its domestic companies and the international community who oppose its unilateralism and protectionism that have disturbed the international order.”
To reach a final consensus, “the US should also show its respect and stop being capricious,” Bai said.
During the 90 days, Washington should be fully aware that Beijing will never concede on its core interests like upgrading its industrial structure, he noted.