China-US trade negotiations on track

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/1 18:37:15

China-US trade talks in Washington that ended on Friday brought the two countries closer. Washington and Beijing have engaged in constructive negotiations over the trade balance, technology transfer, protection of intellectual property rights, enforcement mechanisms and other issues of concern to China. A timetable and road map for further negotiations have also been clarified by both sides. One month before the March 1 deadline, this round of talks has provided a driving force for the two sides and a positive signal to the market.

US President Donald Trump met Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Thursday and posted optimistic messages on Twitter. He also expressed expectation for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the near future.

It seems that Washington and Beijing have understood each other more deeply after over 10 months' confrontations. The world's two largest economies have discovered a new path to manage differences and solve problems based on consensus of the two heads of state.

The trade talks are in essence aimed at implementing such a consensus reached at the G20 summit in Argentina on December 1. President Xi and President Trump have played a pivotal role in making things smooth.

China and the US so far have resolved many differences, especially in increasing China imports from the US to reduce the trade imbalance. There are still difficulties that need to be overcome. But given the huge benefits that a trade deal would bring about, there is no reason for Beijing and Washington to resist an end to the trade war. 

The basic nature of trade determines that trade negotiations must lead to win-win results. Both China and the US know this well. Although both sides sometimes resort to tit-for-tat tactics in negotiations, they also leave room for mutually beneficial results.  

China and the US made a breakthrough in bridging differences. The increasing trade balance concerns the US, while expanding exports from the US to China is also beneficial to satisfying the Chinese people's demand for a better life. What both sides need to do is to coordinate and integrate the two things. 

The US demands that China makes structural reforms. Some of the US requirements and wishes are in line with China's own interests. For instance, Washington asks Beijing to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights, open up its economy to American enterprises in more fields and treat them on an equal footing. China is supposed to do all these to deepen reform and opening-up. Promoting these reforms through China-US negotiations is conducive to China's development. 

Talking about China's structural reform, if going deeper, may touch upon issues concerning China's core interests such as its social system and national security. 

Trade relations have long been the solid footing of China-US relations, and also promoted the two countries' economic development. It's a proven fact that China's development tallies with its national conditions. China-US trade can coexist with China's orderly reform and independent development. China adhering to its core interests is in line with the basic rules of international relations. We believe the two countries will reach a consensus about these major principles.

More and more people are optimistic about China-US trade negotiations. People are aware of the current condition and believe the two countries will be rational rather than capricious.

China and the US couldn't resolve all the disputes. But the consensus between the two countries' leaders has provided the political and strategic momentum to overcome differences. Compared with 10 months ago when the conflict escalated, Beijing and Washington have fewer disputes today. Their wish to reach an agreement is also growing.

China and the US should be indomitable after these negotiations. A US delegation will come to China in mid-February to continue the consultations. More importantly, the two delegations should follow the timetable set up by President Xi and President Trump and remove all obstacles. Thus, China and the US will redefine a new model for a major power relationship in trade.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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