China, US restart to untangle trade deadlock
The 12th round of China-us highlevel trade consultations ended in Shanghai Wednesday. According to the Chinese side, the two countries conducted “candid, efficient, constructive and in-depth” exchanges. They also discussed the increase in purchases of US farm products based on China’s domestic demand, and the US agreed to create favorable conditions for it. The next round of talks will be held in Washington in September. But Global Times has learned that the two sides will hold intensive working-level consultations in August.
This was the first face-to-face highlevel trade talks between China and the US in the past three months. Judging from China’s briefing, the new beginning was good.
The US has been highly concerned about China’s purchase of its farm products, and the talks have responded to US concerns. But China also stressed
that the procurement should be carried out according to China’s demand. The amount of China’s purchase should be realistic and this is also one of China’s core concerns.
What can the US do to create favorable conditions for the purchase?
The Chinese market needs US agricultural products. China’s decision to suspend purchases was a response to the US’ maximum pressure policy against China. China announced over a week ago that it would resume the purchase, which was widely viewed as goodwill to the US before the negotiations. But if the US wants to turn China’s goodwill into normal trade, it should meet China halfway and form a benign interaction with China until they reach a deal.
After launching the trade war against China, the US has been using maximum pressure on China as its strategy. It should remove or relieve such pressure to reciprocate China’s purchase of American agricultural products. A better condition will thus be provided for China to continue the purchase and make it a bond for cooperation instead of a focus of confrontation.
The 13th round of trade talks will be held in Washington in over a month. Before that, China and the US should show more goodwill to each other, accumulate mutual trust for the upcoming consultations, and cut down frictions that could lead to distrust.
Various problems between China and the US have been fermenting in the past year or two, and mutual resistance has been increasing. But rational views which insist on stable bilateral relations have also been increasingly prominent and firm. At this point, the two governments have a larger space for adjusting their relations. They hold the initiative to lead public opinion in their countries in terms of the trade war.
Both Washington and Beijing have shown flexibility to ease trade conflicts. The mutual goodwill has gained support from the two societies. Dissenting and supportive voices inside the US are sharp, but it is obvious that the latter is more powerful and backed by real interests.
Going through trade conflicts and contests, China and the US have already sounded out each other’s endurance and bottom line. If both sides have the sincerity to end the trade war in a reasonable manner, a window phase worth exploiting will arise in the near future. The two sides can certainly fight a longer battle, but that will cause more economic losses and greater political risks.
The 12th round of China-us trade talks is a good new start. It is definitely a politically sensible choice for both sides to follow the positive clues they have created.