Compromise in trade talks can’t be one-way street

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/28 20:03:39

A widespread online article saying China will become the only nation in the history of the world that allows foreign capital to control its state-owned banks has generated vigorous debate. Some Chinese observers have expressed concern about whether the country has gone too far in allowing foreign investors to enjoy free access to China's strategic assets.

As trade talks get back on track, some Western media outlets hope China can make compromises to reach a trade deal with the US. 

It is far too early to predict what China will agree to in the coming days amid the negotiations, but it is clear China won't cede its core interests in exchange for a trade deal.

Despite trade tensions with the US, China needs to steadfastly stick to the path of further opening up its economy to foreign investors, but the country will follow its own speed and rhythm in opening-up and avoid being coerced by the US. 

Earlier this month, China announced measures to further open up its financial markets, encouraging overseas financial institutions to invest in the asset management subsidiaries of commercial banks. 

Over the past few years, China has accelerated efforts to further open up its economy by allowing foreign capital access to more financial services such as the bond market, insurance, asset management and pension funds. 

However, that doesn't mean China must fully open its financial sector immediately and take no precautions against external risks.

This is a testing time marked by uncertainty amid the trade war. A phased-in process in opening up the economy to the world can help China avoid turmoil caused by external uncertainties. 

China is now the world's second-largest economy. It's impossible for the country to isolate itself from the global financial system. China is willing to further open up its financial sector, but its pace will be decided by domestic demand, not external pressure.

There is no need to have excessively high expectations for China's "compromise" in the upcoming trade talks. If there are compromises, they should be made by both parties and reciprocal.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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