China urges US to improve condition for trade, as phase 1 deal nears two-year mark
Published: Jan 13, 2022 05:54 PM
China US

China US

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Thursday again called on the US to improve the environment and conditions for expanding bilateral trade, while highlighting China's efforts to carry out the phase one trade agreement despite various challenges, just days ahead of the 2nd anniversary of the signing of the deal. 

Economic and trade teams from the two countries are maintaining normal communication, MOFCOM spokesperson Shu Jueting said, noting that since the phase-one deal came into force, China has strived to overcome several unfavorable factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic recession and supply chain disruptions, to push for the joint implementation of the deal.  

The comments came as signing of the deal, which took place on January 15, 2020, is about to mark its two-year anniversary. Ahead of the anniversary, there are also growing discussions about the result of the phase one agreement and the next step for the world's two biggest economies.

"There's no doubt that the deal benefits both China and the US as well as the world… trade teams of the two sides are maintaining normal communications and if there is any further information, we will release it in time," Shu said at a press conference held in Beijing on Thursday. 

Despite challenges listed by Shu, bilateral trade between China and the US has been surging. 

The total trade value between China and the US hit $682.32 billion from January to November in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 30.2 percent, Chinese customs data showed. China also maintains its position as the second-largest trading partner of the US after the EU, even with tariffs aimed at weakening China's export advantages still in place.

The whole-year number for 2021 is due to be released on Friday.

"The essence of China-US economic and trade relations is mutual benefit and win-win results. It is hoped that the US side can create a favorable atmosphere and conditions for the expansion of trade cooperation between the two sides," Shu said. 

The comments also come as some in the US are asserting that China has failed to meet its target for purchases of US products and services, while many in China pointing out the US' escalating crackdown on Chinese firms and lingering tariffs and other restrictions as well as uncontrollable external factors such as the pandemic.

In particular, the US crackdown on China's technology sector has expanded from 5G to AI and biotechnology, in a desperate attempt to maintain its shaky tech dominance. 

In mid-December, the US Department of Treasury added SenseTime, one of China's most valuable AI solution providers, to a list of "Chinese military-industrial complex companies," barring US investors from purchasing or selling publicly traded securities in the firm.

Experts noted that despite ongoing geopolitical spats and some US politicians' complaints intended to stem China's rise, the trade volume between the two countries may continue to rise in 2022, and even surpass the already high level seen in 2021.

Global Times