SOURCE / ECONOMY
Build up economic pie through cooperation, Xi tells Biden in virtual summit
Published: Nov 16, 2021 05:53 PM
A ship loading foreign trade goods at Qingdao Port Fully Automated Container Terminal in East China's Shandong Province in early October. Photo: cnsphoto

A ship loading foreign trade goods at Qingdao Port Fully Automated Container Terminal in East China's Shandong Province in early October. Photo: cnsphoto



Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden have held their first face-to-face virtual meeting on Tuesday, during which the two sides highlighted trade and economic issues of mutual concern and have reached consensus on ramping up communication on each other's economic policies.

Although trade and economic issue is not the focal point of the summit meeting, the long-anticipated conference is deemed as setting the tone for bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the world's two largest economies, after softening rhetoric from Washington over possible removal of Trump's punitive tariffs on Chinese imports. 

Meanwhile, skyrocketing inflation in the US, hitting 31-year high in October, has triggered broad unhappiness among ordinary Americans about surging prices, which may have pushed the Biden administration to soften its hardline approach toward China.

Though the remarks by the two leaders also expose certain disputes that need to be settled, the summit meeting sends a signal that bilateral economic ties is unlikely to drift apart further, and is on a trajectory to see less conflict and more of "healthy competition"in the future, analysts said. 

More dialogue channels between the two countries' economic teams to strengthen communication will be set up in the coming months, analysts said.

On trade ties, President Xi described the China-US economic and trade relations as mutually beneficial in nature and the two sides need to "make the cake bigger" through cooperation. He also stressed that economic and trade issues between the two countries should not be politicized, while urging the US to stop abusing or overstretching the concept of national security to suppress Chinese enterprises. 

"China takes seriously the wishes of US business community to travel to China more easily, and has agreed to upgrade a 'fast-track' arrangement, which will further enhance economic and trade exchanges between China and the US and boost the recovery of the two economies," Xi said.

 "The meeting sets the overall direction for bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the world's two largest economies to navigate through difficulties, and both sides have recognized common ground for economic cooperation to continue and expand," Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing who has closely followed China-US trade negotiations told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Gao said that more channels to strengthen communication and cooperation will be established after the summit meeting. 

However, analysts also noted there remain some disputes between the two that require further negotiation. For example, the US side did not directly respond to China's concern of Washington's unilateral crackdown on Chinese enterprises. 

Analysts said the meeting between the leaders of the world's two largest economies underscores the eagerness of Biden to seek help from Beijing to ease US economic woes, especially the elevated inflation that seems to derail the world's largest economy, which is not resolved, will erode American voters' support of the Biden government.  

In face of rocketing inflation, Washington has called for more economic policy coordination during the meeting, while Beijing is urging the US side properly manage the spillover effect of its macro policy, analyst said, taking example of the Federal Reserve's extraordinarily loose financial policy,

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who heads the Chinese team of the China-US comprehensive economic dialogue, is among the attendees of the summit meeting. On the US side, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are among the top economic officials attending the presidential meeting.

A day ahead of the summit meeting, Yellen told the CBS that removing tariffs imposed by the Trump administration imposed on Chinese imports "would make some difference" on inflation, and added that US trade representative Katherine Tai was "revisiting" the phase one trade agreement with Beijing.


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