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China, US officials vow to continue trade talks
From:ChinaDaily   |  2021-06-11 09:31

China and the United States have stressed the importance of dialog and communication between the two sides in business-related aspects and said it is necessary to promote pragmatic cooperation in trade and investment, while handling differences properly.

Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo exchanged views on related issues and concerns in a frank and practical way during a phone conversation on Thursday. During the discussions, which were initiated at the behest of the US side, Wang and Raimondo agreed to maintain communication in their working relationship.

The commerce minister's telephone conversation followed Vice-Premier Liu He's virtual meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on June 2. Liu, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-US comprehensive economic dialog, held a telephonic conversation with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on May 27.

As the world's top two economies, China and US should ensure their trade and economic relations are mutually beneficial, Gao Feng, a spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, said during a briefing on Thursday.

"China and the US have their major economic and trade concerns. But on the basis of mutual respect and equality, they can explore solutions through dialog and consultation," Gao said.

In response to the US Senate's move to pass a technology investment bill to counter so-called challenges from China on Tuesday, Gao said all countries have the responsibility to develop their own industries and enhance the well-being of their people.

"We are pleased to see economic development and technological progress in other countries, but we are opposed to linking a country's own development plans with the containment of other countries, politicizing economic and trade issues, and engaging in zero-sum games. This is not in line with the theme of the peaceful development era," Gao said.

Ma Yu, a researcher at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the frequency of China-US trade talks signified that the US has realized the importance and necessity of putting bilateral economic and trade ties on the right track, after the damage caused by the previous trade disputes.

China remains a priority market for US companies, and decoupling of the economies is in neither country's economic interest, said Cui Fan, an international trade and economics professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

US business leaders are hoping that more positive moves will emerge on the economic and trade front in the coming weeks.

Thomas Harms, senior vice-president and managing director of Herbalife Nutrition China and Asia-Pacific, said China's domestic market expansion under the new dual-circulation development pattern provides great opportunities to foreign enterprises, and the Los Angeles-headquartered group is committed to invest "heavily" in China.

US multinational conglomerate Honeywell also plans to invest in China's refinery sector over the next five years.

"We see China's carbon-neutral commitment as an opportunity to join hands with the Chinese partners to realize the refinery transformation by converting crude oil into more and more petrochemical products, or even completely into petrochemical products," said Henry Liu, vice-president and general manager of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies Asia-Pacific.