Equality and mutual respect promote China-U.S. trade talks

China Plus Published: 2019-06-29 23:47:26
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Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs".

On the sidelines of the Group of 20 leaders’ summit in Osaka, Japan, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with U.S. President Donald Trump. The two leaders agreed that the two countries will restart economic and trade consultations on the basis of equality and mutual respect. They also agreed that the US will not add new tariffs on Chinese exports, and negotiating teams from both sides will discuss specific issues.

Adding tariffs will not solve problems but would only be counterproductive. The decision that China and the U.S. will restart economic and trade talks has sent a positive signal. The two countries are returning to the right track of solving problems. It complies with the will of the two peoples as well as the world’s expectation. It will also help alleviate the tense atmosphere on the markets. However, the China-U.S. trade and economic issues are so complicated that hard work is still required to solve the issues effectively.

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Donald Trump in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. [Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Donald Trump in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. [Photo: Xinhua]

China is sincere in continuing consultations with the U.S., but those consultations should be conducted on the basis of equality and mutual respect, with both sides accommodating each other's legitimate concerns. The status of both sides should be equal during consultations, and the results should be mutually beneficial. Neither side can compel the other to talk, nor can the results be beneficial only for one of the two sides. At the same time, both sides should respect each other's core interests and major concerns, rather than challenge their “bottom lines” or cross the “red line.” Over the past month, China’s measures to cope with the rising trade tensions have clearly demonstrated that China will firmly safeguard its core interests with a clear-cut stance when it comes to issues related to sovereignty and dignity.

During the Xi-Trump meeting, the U.S. side agreed that it will not add new tariffs on Chinese exports. This will creat favorable conditions for the two countries to restart trade consultations. What’s important next is that the U.S. side should match its deeds to its words and meet China halfway. The 40-year-long diplomatic ties between China and the U.S. have shown that the two countries will both benefit if they cooperate, and both suffer if they confront each other. Cooperation and dialogue are better than frictions and fight. We hope that negotiating teams from both sides will grasp the hard-earned opportunity to restart talks, and translate the message conveyed by the meeting of the two leaders into reality.

During the G20 Summit in Osaka, President Xi Jinping announced five major opening up measures including the further opening up of its market, proactively expanding imports, continuously improving its business environment, fully practicing equal treatment for foreign investors, and pressing ahead with negotiations on economic and trade deals. No matter what the result will be after the consultations restart, China will steadfastly strengthen itself through reform and opening up to cope with all risks and challenges.

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LU Xiankun Professor LU Xiankun is Managing Director of LEDECO Geneva and Associate Partner of IDEAS Centre Geneva. He is Emeritus Professor of China Institute for WTO Studies of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Wuhan University (WHU) of China and visiting professor or senior research fellow of some other universities and think tanks in China and Europe. He also sits in management of some international business associations and companies, including as Senior Vice President of Shenzhen UEB Technology LTD., a leading e-commerce company of China. Previously, Mr. LU was senior official of Chinese Ministry of Commerce and senior diplomat posted in Europe, including in Geneva as Counsellor and Head of Division of the Permanent Mission of China to the WTO and in Brussels as Commercial Secretary of the Permanent Mission of China to the EU. Benjamin Cavender Benjamin Cavender is a Shanghai based consultant with more than 11 years of experience helping companies understand consumer behavior and develop go to market strategies for China. He is a frequent speaker on economic and consumer trends in China and is often featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Channel News Asia. Sara Hsu Sara Hsu is an associate professor from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is a regular commentator on Chinese economy. Xu Qinduo Xu Qinduo is CRI's former chief correspondent to Washington DC, the United States. He works as the producer, host and commentator for TODAY, a flagship talk show on current affairs. Mr. Xu contributes regularly to English-language newspapers including Shenzhen Daily and Global Times as well as Chinese-language radio and TV services. Lin Shaowen A radio person, Mr. Lin Shaowen is strongly interested in international relations and Chinese politics. As China is quite often misunderstood in the rest of the world, he feels the need to better present the true picture of the country, the policies and meanings. So he talks a lot and is often seen debating. Then friends find a critical Lin Shaowen criticizing and criticized. George N. Tzogopoulos Dr George N. Tzogopoulos is an expert in media and politics/international relations as well as Chinese affairs. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre International de Européenne (CIFE) and Visiting Lecturer at the European Institute affiliated with it and is teaching international relations at the Department of Law of the Democritus University of Thrace. George is the author of two books: US Foreign Policy in the European Media: Framing the Rise and Fall of Neoconservatism (IB TAURIS) and The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press (Ashgate) as well as the founder of chinaandgreece.com, an institutional partner of CRI Greek. David Morris David Morris is the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commissioner in China, a former Australian diplomat and senior political adviser. Harvey Dzodin After a distinguished career in the US government and American media Dr. Harvey Dzodin is now a Beijing-based freelance columnist for several media outlets. While living in Beijing, he has published over 200 columns with an emphasis on arts, culture and the Belt & Road initiative. He is also a sought-after speaker and advisor in China and abroad. He currently serves as Nonresident Research Fellow of the think tank Center for China and Globalization and Senior Advisor of Tsinghua University National Image Research Center specializing in city branding. Dr. Dzodin was a political appointee of President Jimmy Carter and served as lawyer to a presidential commission. Upon the nomination of the White House and the US State Department he served at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. He was Director and Vice President of the ABC Television in New York for more than two decades.