Resolving China-U.S. Trade disputes requires Patience, Composure

China and the United States concluded here Friday a much-anticipated new round of high-level economic and trade consultations.

The two countries’ negotiating teams achieved substantial progress in areas including agriculture, intellectual property rights protection, exchange rate, financial services, expansion of trade cooperation, technology transfer and dispute settlement.

They also discussed arrangements for future consultations, and agreed to make joint efforts toward eventually reaching an agreement.

In handling the protracted disputes, which have dragged on for over a year, China has developed a peaceful mind towards the ups and downs in its economic and trade relationship with the United States.

The progress achieved in the just-concluded round of talks accords with the aspirations of the people of both nations as well as the international community, and has prevented the disputes from further escalating and spreading.

However, uncertainty hovers over many issues, which requires China to stay patient and hold on to its strategic composure.

China’s patience and composure stem from the steadiness and resilience of its economy, which has not “collapsed” under maximum-pressure measures but maintained a growth rate of 6.3 percent in the first half of this year, topping all other major economies.

Though the situation has had certain impact on China’s manufacturing sector and its exports to the United States, it has also pushed the nation to transform and upgrade its industries and seek alternative markets.

During the first eight months of this year, China saw a daily registration of nearly 20,000 new businesses; China’s trade with members of ASEAN and the European Union (EU) as well as countries joining the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative increased by 10 percent on average year-on-year; over 27,000 more foreign owned businesses entered the Chinese market; and the actual use of foreign capital exceeded 600 billion yuan (84.7 billion U.S. dollars).

Besides, according to a recent survey by the U.S.- China Business Council (USCBC), 87 percent of respondents have not moved and do not plan to move operations of their businesses out of China.

China’s patience and composure lie in its consistent stance of standing resolutely opposed to trade wars and sticking to negotiations and cooperation in pursuit of settlement, which is gaining ever more understanding and support.

Prior to this round of China-U.S. trade talks, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, met with U.S. business leaders and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief.

Stressing that there are no winners but only losers in trade wars, Craig Allen, president of the USCBC, and Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told Liu that the business community in the United States does not want to see the imposition of additional tariffs.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, for her part, said that the trade war is causing a severe impact on the global economy and that her organisation commends China’s resolve and sincerity in addressing issues through negotiations.

Economic indicators have also proven that the damage that the trade war has done to the U.S. economy, businesses and public is growing bigger, and the willingness from all U.S. sectors to see an end to the trade war is growing stronger, which is further cementing public support for the two sides to move in the right direction for settling their issues.

The hard-won progress achieved in this round of talks is inseparable from the rationality, patience and composure that the Chinese side has demonstrated throughout the trade disputes.

Forty years after China and the United States established diplomatic ties, their relationship is now more complex than ever before. With some people attempting to politicise bilateral trade issues, the two sides’ effort to find a solution acceptable to both will surely be time consuming.

China has never provoked a conflict, nor will it shy away from one. The country is fully aware of the complexities and difficulties in resolving its economic and trade issues with the United States, and understands that there are snags along the way.

Yet, by having the worst in mind, making the most adequate preparations and striving for the best outcome, China can safeguard its core national interests and the interests of its people.

To remain patient and composed requires that China focus on its own affairs. Having just celebrated its 70th founding anniversary, the People’s Republic of China is spiritedly continuing its reform and opening-up policy, and is willing to share growth opportunities with countries around the world; including the United States.

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