Trade talks ‘con­struc­tive’

US needs to create more fa­vor­able con­di­tions

Global Times US Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Yang Sheng and Chu Daye

The lat­est round of China-us trade talks ended with “can­did, con­struc­tive and ef­fi­cient” in­depth ex­changes in Shang­hai and the next round will take place in the US in Septem­ber. The two sides also dis­cussed fur­ther Chi­nese pur­chases of US agri­cul­ture im­ports “based on its do­mes­tic de­mand,” and how the US should create a fa­vor­able con­di­tion for such pur­chases.

Chi­nese Vice Premier Liu He, US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Lighthizer and Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin held the 12th round of China-us high-level eco­nomic and trade con­sul­ta­tions in Shang­hai Tues­day to Wed­nes­day, the Xinhua News Agency re­ported.

Based on the con­sen­sus that the lead­ers of the two coun­tries reached in Osaka, Ja­pan in June, the deep ex­change be­tween the two sides this time on is­sues of con­cern to both sides in the eco­nomic and trade fields was frank, con­struc­tive and ef­fi­cient, said Xinhua.

The state­ment from the White House also de­scribed the meet­ings as con­struc­tive.

Liu is also a mem­ber of the Po­lit­i­cal Bureau of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and chief of the Chi­nese side of the China-us com­pre­hen­sive eco­nomic di­a­logue, and Chi­nese Min­is­ter of Com­merce Zhong Shan also at­tended the con­sul­ta­tions.

The two sides also dis­cussed the is­sue about China to in­crease US agri­cul­tural im­ports, “based on its do­mes­tic de­mand,” and how the US should create a fa­vor­able con­di­tion for such pur­chases.

The talks, which lasted two days, are the first round of talks the two sides have held since May and ac­cord­ing to Xinhua, the next round will take place in Septem­ber in the US.

Bai Ming, deputy di­rec­tor of the Min­istry of Com­merce’s in­ter­na­tional mar­ket re

search in­sti­tute, told the Global Times that the scant in­for­ma­tion re­vealed the talks must have been “heated” and reached a stale­mate.

Bai said fa­vor­able con­di­tions that will make more Chi­nese agri­cul­tural pur­chases hap­pen could re­fer to par­tial con­ces­sions from the US.

“It could be on the US com­mit­ment to re­lax a ban on Huawei, or it could be US ef­forts on other fronts,” said Bai. “At any rate, China would not make an agri­cul­ture pur­chase if it deemed US ef­forts fell short of ex­pec­ta­tions.”

Ob­servers noted that even if China de­cides one day to buy more US agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, that would serve its real do­mes­tic de­mand rather than to ap­pease US pro­tec­tion­ism and hege­mony.

The US crack­down on Chi­nese tech com­pa­nies, among which tele­com gi­ant Huawei Tech­nolo­gies is a prom­i­nent tar­get, seems to have failed to achieve the knock­out ef­fect it did with another Chi­nese tele­com gi­ant ZTE Corp in the year of 2018.

Huawei on Tues­day re­ported ro­bust first-half rev­enues of $58.3 bil­lion, up 23.2 per­cent year-on-year, even as the US ban re­mains on soft­ware and key parts sup­plies.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump agreed with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping dur­ing their meet­ing at the G20 Osaka sum­mit to al­low US com­pa­nies to sup­ply Huawei, but so far, lit­tle has hap­pened on the ground.

On Tues­day, Trump tweeted that China has lost jobs due to “the Trump Tar­iffs” and “Trumps got China back on its heels.”

He also tweeted “China is do­ing very badly, worst year in 27 – was sup­posed to start buy­ing our agri­cul­tural prod­uct now – no signs that they are do­ing so. That is the prob­lem with China, they just don’t come through.”

Diao Dam­ing, a US stud­ies ex­pert and as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at Ren­min Univer­sity of China in Bei­jing, told the Global Times on Wed­nes­day that this shows that Trump is get­ting ner­vous as he des­per­ately wants to earn credit from the talks with China to re­in­force his re­elec­tion cam­paign.

Trump also cau­tioned China not to de­lay fi­nal­iz­ing a trade deal un­til af­ter the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, threat­en­ing there would be a much tougher of­fer on the table or no deal at all if he wins.

Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesper­son Hua Chun­y­ing re­sponded Wed­nes­day that re­leas­ing such pres­sure on China at this time is use­less.

“The US should show more sin­cer­ity and cred­i­bil­ity,” Hua said.

Link­ing the trade talks with the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions will make the US even more un­trust­wor­thy not only to China but also to other US trade part­ners with trade fric­tions, Diao noted. “The key is the US should show an at­ti­tude of hon­esty and cred­i­bil­ity based on win-win co­op­er­a­tion and mu­tual re­spect,” he said.

“A deal can surely be reached with such an at­ti­tude, and with­out this at­ti­tude, any re­lease of ner­vous and frus­trated pres­sure would be use­less.”

Photo: IC

Chi­nese Vice Premier Liu He (cen­ter), US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Lighthizer (right) and US Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin pose for a photo be­fore hold­ing talks at the Xi­jiao Con­fer­ence Cen­ter in Shang­hai on Wed­nes­day. Chi­nese and US ne­go­tia­tors met in Shang­hai in a bid to bring an end to a year­long trade war.

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