Chinese state councilor says China, U.S. can address trade issue through opening markets

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-09 13:18:18|Editor: Xiang Bo
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said here Thursday that China and the United States could address their bilateral trade issues through more open markets and "making a bigger cake of cooperation."

While meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Yang said he hoped the U.S. side could meet China halfway to ensure the stable and healthy development of bilateral ties in the long run. He said that positive China-U.S. ties are in the best interests of both peoples and the world.

He said China-U.S. economic and trade relations are reciprocal in nature, bringing huge benefits to the two peoples.

He urged the two nations to cooperate in such areas as energy, infrastructure construction and the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as enhance coordination on international economic concerns.

For his part, Tillerson said the U.S. side is willing to work with China to solve bilateral economic and trade issues in a more effective manner.

The China-U.S. trade ties have been bumpy since the Trump administration assumed office. The administration has threatened to limit Chinese investment, exports and visa applications.

Last April the Trump administration launched a so-called 232 investigation into imported steel products, a rarely-used trade tool to limit imports on the grounds of protecting national security.

On Aug. 18, 2017, it initiated an investigation into Chinese intellectual property and technology transfers under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Trump also approved in January steep tariffs on imported washers and solar cells and modules.

Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Michael O'Hanlon predicted more "ongoing, specific, targeted" trade measures against China for years to come.

Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, also told Xinhua that he expects further U.S. tariffs, fines and exclusions on a range of products from China and elsewhere, although "whether these measures will be more substantial or symbolic remains to be determined."

For its part, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce launched in February an anti-dumping and counter-veiling investigation against sorghum imported from the United States. It also responded to the U.S. actions by saying that China would take "all appropriate measures" to defend its legal interests.

"America does not hold the trump card in its economic relations with China," said Stephen S. Roach, a Yale University expert, adding that getting tough on China while ignoring those consequences could be "a blunder of epic proportions."

Josef Braml, a research associate at the think-tank German Council on Foreign Relations, also noted that other nations might move closer to China, seeking more economic and monetary arrangements with the Asian country to offset Trump's protectionist trade measures.