China, US must take trade-war truce as opportunity to make concrete strides

By Hu Weijia and Bai Yunyi in Buenos Aires Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/2 19:28:39

Outside the hotel where Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump met Saturday night in Buenos Aires, Argentina, many people on the street halted with an expression of curiosity. Everyone was trying to guess what kind of deal can be made between China and the US.

The dinner meeting between the top leaders of the two countries lasted two and a half hours, far beyond the scheduled time. Information acquired from some sources suggested that China and the US had abandoned the original plan to allow their leaders to meet around one hour earlier. The flexibility of the meeting was completely unexpected. This means communication between China and the US must be highly efficient and both sides have shown their sincerity to reach a consensus. No matter whether the current deal is the best ending of the trade conflict, it is clear that both sides have a strong desire to negotiate.

The way in which China and the US engage with each other has been shifted from accusations to one of finding solutions. Maybe there were some last minute changes and surprises ahead of the dinner meeting, but China and the US found a way out.

Some people may have noticed that there were a number of intensive bilateral talks during this year's G20 summit. The meeting between Xi and Trump finished just several hours after the conclusion of G20, allowing world leaders who had not yet left Argentina to continue their communication.

In the trade war truce reached by China and the US during the summit, the White House said China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural products from US farmers immediately. Such measures will soon have a great impact on the global value chain and the world's major food exporting countries.

White House adviser Peter Navarro, known for being a hawk on China, was initially not scheduled to go to Argentina, but attended the meeting on Saturday. His presence is not necessarily a bad thing, because there is a possibility that it is the Trump administration's posture that the deal has received recognition from the trade hawks.

However, the economic picture between China and the US is complex and uneven. No one can promise if things will not turn sour again. We need to accomplish as much as possible while there is a truce on the trade war. 

The authors are reporters with the Global Times.


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