Former officials call on China, US to withstand decoupling pressure, strengthen cooperation
Published: Feb 14, 2022 09:08 PM
China US File Photo:CFP

China US File Photo:CFP

Two former finance department officials from China and the US said that the two countries need to withstand the pressure toward decoupling and should strengthen dialogue and cooperation amid numerous challenges.

In the face of inflation, insufficient labor supply, tight supply chains and an energy crisis, international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have lowered their forecasts for global economic growth since the beginning of this year.

But in Former Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei's view, the plight of the global economy is not entirely applicable in China, as China's epidemic control measures have been relatively effective, and inflation is under control. 

The biggest uncertainty facing the world is still the epidemic, Lou said. 

If the vaccine can be universally and effectively rolled out, the flow of people and goods can gradually return to normal, and the global recovery will be relatively strong, Lou said while speaking at the Shanghai Suhewan Summit, a global asset management forum held last month, according to on Friday. 

Former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed that the biggest problem right now is the pandemic, but he was concerned about the lack of coordination among countries and the rise of protectionism in this context. Paulson warned that protectionist acts such as tariffs or technology blockades are in danger of "going to the extreme." 

Countries must withstand the pressure toward decoupling, and the global mechanism will become more and more important in the future, he said. 

Talking about how the US and China can cooperate, Paulson said that although the political systems, values and economic systems of the two countries are different, there are also very important common interests, such as climate change issues and stability of the global order. 

He suggested that both sides should develop a framework to determine where and how to compete and cooperate, and how to deal with differences between the two countries.

Lou also agreed that China and the US have room for cooperation in addressing climate change, public health crises and security. 

He said that some of the current practices of the US are not helpful, such as imposing tariffs on China, which will actually increase prices for American consumers. The cancellation of additional tariffs would be beneficial for American consumers, and also conducive for suppressing the current high inflation in the US, Lou said. 

China has overcome the negative impact of COVID-19, a global recession and disrupted supply chains to implement the phase one trade deal with the US, and it is hoped that the US will remove additional tariffs and sanctions against China as soon as possible to help expand bilateral trade cooperation, Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said on Thursday in Beijing.

The remarks came after officials from a US business lobbying group said on Wednesday that the US would consider a new China tariff probe if talks fail to persuade Beijing to follow through on more purchases of US goods, energy and services, according to a Reuters report.