China-US trade talks in final sprint

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/15 23:23:57

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with the heads of the US delegation to the new round of high-level China-US economic and trade consultations in Beijing Friday after the latest round of China-US trade talks concluded in Beijing. President Xi said the two sides have made "important progress for the current stage" after the two-day talks and encouraged the two sides to try to reach a mutually beneficial agreement when they meet again next week in Washington.

This is the first time that President Xi met with the US trade delegation since China and the US started trade negotiations last year. 

The international community is particularly encouraged by the meeting and cautiously optimistic about the prospects.

The sixth round of high-level China-US economic and trade consultations was held in Beijing from February 14-15. The two sides discussed technology transfer, intellectual property rights protection, non-tariff barriers, trade balance, implementation mechanism and other topics of mutual concerns and reached a consensus in principle on major issues. According to information released by the Chinese side, the two sides had a specific consultation on the text of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on trade. This is the first time that China and the US mentioned the MOU in public, which shows that the two sides have made unprecedented progress.

They agreed to continue trade talks in Washington next week. Such frequent talks are unprecedented as well. It is obvious that China-US trade consultations are moving more rapidly.

It has been almost a year since the trade war started. The situation experienced a stalemate as disputes and negotiations overlapped. On December 1, 2018, President Xi and US President Donald Trump reached important agreements during the G-20 summit in Argentina, which stopped the trade war from escalating and helped kick off a new phase in resolving trade disputes. 

During the past two-and-a-half months, Chinese and US delegations worked hard to implement the two leaders' consensus. They treated every round of talks seriously and often worked around the clock. Such grand-scale bilateral negotiations that affect the global market so greatly will certainly be remembered in history.

The MOU and next week's talks both show that the seemingly endless China-US trade negotiations, like a marathon, are making a final sprint.   

China and the US share the world's largest bilateral trade. Their trade disputes are long-standing and have affected the global market. Will they find a reciprocal solution in the 21st century? That answer not only involves their economic cooperation, but will also define China-US relations and disputes. It will even affect people's general understanding of future international relations.

It seems both countries want to complete the negotiations before March 1 to properly implement the consensus reached by the two countries' leaders. The two societies and the world should encourage the two delegations' wishes and efforts. There will always be problems between Beijing and Washington. If they both do as promised and resolve the problem timely and properly, it would be a historical practice, showing that the two sides would meet each other halfway and work together toward a good result. This will become a paradigm for both sides and the international community.

We hope the Chinese and US delegations steadily promote a good result in their talks next week. 

We believe the two sides have not slackened off and continue to be prepared for any changes that may happen. 

We hope that talks in Washington next week will continue the momentum of the latest round of talks in Beijing and further ease people's remaining concerns.



Posted in: EDITORIAL

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