China, US restart to untangle trade dead­lock

Global Times US Edition - - EDITORIAL -

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.

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