Commentary: China, U.S. need to keep pushing trade talks forward

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-01 19:08:04|Editor: Li Xia
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by Xinhua writers Deng Xianlai, Han Jie

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States wrapped up a new round of trade negotiations here Thursday and took a step forward toward a final deal on their economic and trade disputes.

Over the past two days, the Chinese and U.S. trade teams, headed by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer respectively, held candid, specific and constructive discussions, achieved important progress, and determined the timetable and roadmap for next-step consultations.

The hard-won progress is the result of both sides seriously implementing the key consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, when the two leaders met in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, in December.

Since then, the two sides have been building up mutual trust and consensus at the negotiating table. That gives the rest of the world more reasons to be cautiously optimistic about a final settlement of China-U.S. trade and economic disputes through consultations on an equal footing.

During the talks in Washington, the two sides covered a wide range of issues of common concern, including trade balance, technology transfer, protection of intellectual property rights and a two-way enforcement mechanism, as well as other topics of particular concern to the Chinese side.

By tackling these sticking points directly, China and the United States have sent a positive message: as the two countries continue down the path of earnest and in-depth consultations, it is becoming increasingly possible for the world's top two economies to bridge their differences.

During the talks, Beijing has agreed to make active efforts to expand imports from the United States in such sectors as agriculture, energy, manufacturing and services.

With respect to legal reforms, China's Supreme People's Court inaugurated on Jan. 1 a national appeal court for intellectual property rights cases. The country has also been fast-tracking the legislation process of a unified foreign investment law that will ensure foreign companies fair treatment while operating in China.

These measures will fuel China's pursuit of high-quality economic development and meet the people's demand for a better life. In doing so, China is also sharing its development opportunities with the wider world.

The escalation in China-U.S. trade tensions over the past months has harmed the international trading system, damaged global supply chains and triggered volatility in financial and commodity markets worldwide -- all of which are proof that no one wins in a trade war.

Apparently, neither side wants a lose-lose scenario. Therefore, it is imperative for both to further push forward the consultations, which not only meet the interests of the peoples and businesses in both countries, but also accord with the common expectations of the international community.

In addition, advancing bilateral trade and economic talks also carries significant implications for maintaining global growth as well as stabilizing the financial market.

It is normal for trade frictions to occur between China and the United States, and differences are nothing to be afraid of as long as both parties can demonstrate good faith in trying to solve them.

At their Argentina summit on Dec. 1, Xi and Trump agreed that the two countries should try to reach a mutually beneficial agreement within 90 days.

Given that there is less than a month ahead of the March 1 deadline, Beijing and Washington ought to fully implement the two presidents' agreement, and properly manage their differences in trade and economic issues. Doing so will not only lead to a win-win prospect for the two countries, but also contribute to the common good for the world at large.