China implements more US orders, unrelated to Hawaii meeting
Published: Jun 19, 2020 08:23 PM

Imported soybeans seen at a port in Nantong, East China's Jiangsu Province in August, 2018. Photo: IC

Chinese experts following the China-US trade deal said on Friday that "large numbers of signed but hitherto unimplemented" purchase contracts are beginning to be executed.

The comments were made in response to a Bloomberg report on Friday which cited insiders as saying that China planned to accelerate purchases of US farm goods in accordance with the phase one trade deal with the US, after talks in Hawaii this week. Under the deal, China agreed to buy $200 billion more in US goods and services over two years.

Senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the latter's request on Tuesday and Wednesday local time in Hawaii.

Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing who closely follows the China-US trade conflict, told the Global Times on Friday that the execution of these deals is unrelated to the Hawaii meeting.

"It is all about these purchase contracts now entering the execution phase and including them in trade data," Gao said. "The coronavirus pandemic has impeded the execution of these contracts in the previous months."

The Bloomberg report said purchases involve soybeans, corn and ethanol.

Tensions between the two countries have spiked in recent months over the COVID-19 pandemic and China's Xinjiang and Hong Kong issues. 

"There was some easing of tensions, but it is also about China honoring the agreement," Gao said.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who heads the Chinese side in trade negotiations with the US, said in a written address on Thursday at a financial forum in Shanghai that both sides should do more to carry out the deal.  

"Conditions and an environment should be created, and disturbances should be eliminated to jointly implement the China-US phase one trade agreement," Liu said in his written address to the Lujiazui Forum.

"The development and the Hawaii meeting showed that there is willingness by the two sides to carry on the phase one deal to the letter," Song Guoyou, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times on Friday. "To make up for the losses caused by the pandemic, more needs to be done."

On Thursday, the US Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that functional US-China ties are "in the fundamental interest of Americans, and of peace and stability in the world."

In response, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Friday that US firms choosing to improve trade and economic links with China are siding with opportunities and the future. 

However, US President Donald Trump renewed threats to China on Thursday with a tweet about "a complete decoupling from China."

Any decision by the US to arbitrarily decouple from China would not be realistic or wise, Zhao said.

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