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Commentary: Let China, U.S. meet each other half way to reach trade deal
February 18, 2019
Abstract : China and the United States have just concluded a new round of high-level trade talk in Beijing. The two sides have reached a consensus in principle on major issues.
Delegates to the China-U.S. high-level economic and trade consultations pose for a group photo in Beijing, Feb. 15, 2019. China and the United States held the sixth round of high-level economic and trade consultations in Beijing from Thursday to Friday. Present at the talks were 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, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
BEIJING, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States have just concluded a new round of high-level trade talk in Beijing.
A string of positive signals released from the meeting have shown that on the basis of equality, the two countries are moving towards a final deal, led by the consensus reached by top leaders of the two countries.
When meeting with U.S. negotiation delegates on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China stands ready to resolve trade disputes through cooperation and reach a deal that can be accepted by both sides.
It is President Xi's first meeting with the U.S. trade delegates since the frictions have escalated. Therefore, it is never too important to be serious about this round of high-level talk.
In the past few days, negotiation teams were working overtime to deepen mutual understanding on issues of common concern, including technology transfer, protection of intellectual property rights, non-tariff barriers and balanced trade.
The two sides have reached a consensus in principle on major issues. They also had specific discussions about a memorandum of understanding on bilateral economic and trade issues.
It is safe to say agreements are increasing while disagreements are dwindling. Cautious optimism is brewing for both to reach a mutually beneficial deal in the shortest time possible.
Consensus reached by top leaders of the two countries lay the foundation for China and the United States to sort out the frictions.
Top leaders of the two countries have multiple means to deepen mutual understanding. Last December, President Xi and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump met in Buenos Aires, Argentina to reach important consensus. Telephone conversations and congratulatory letters between them were made subsequently. All of these have helped chart the course for China-U.S. relations in the next stage.
If there is a magic wand to solve the China-U.S. trade frictions, that is sincerity and action. China and the United States have more common interests than differences. Their demand for cooperation is greater than friction. Cooperation is the best option for both.
With only two weeks left from the March 1 deadline, China and the United States are speeding up the negotiations. A new round of talk will begin in Washington next week. As long as the two sides meet each other halfway, they will move closer to meet the final goal.
Despite the headway, the negotiation is faced with challenges and uncertainties. No matter what happens in the end, China will defend its national dignity and fundamental interests.
Hope for the best outcome, and do everything China can to achieve it, but it is equally important to prepare for the worst.
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