Vice-Premier Wu Yi yesterday called upon the United States
to ease its restrictions on exports of some hi-tech products to
China to help narrow the trade gap.
The remarks came in an opinion piece on the Asian edition of the
Wall Street Journal, days before she leads a delegation to
Washington for the second round of a strategic economic dialogue -
the highest platform of communication between the two
"The United States, as a global leader in science and
technology, should give full play to its comparative advantage,
enhance mutual trust and relax export controls to boost the
competitiveness of American companies, reverse the trend of
dwindling market share of American hi-tech products in China, and
reduce its trade deficit with China," she urged.
The US administration has been adopting a strict export control
policy on hi-tech exports to China for "security reasons," which
has hindered China's imports from the country. Washington drafted a
new rule in July, stipulating license requirements for additional
items defined as "military end-use," and making the procedure of
applying for licenses more complicated.
Wu noted trade protectionism is on the rise in the US. Some
overstate the US trade imbalance with China and blame China for the
problems that have arisen as the US adjusts its economic structure
to respond to challenges posed by economic globalization. Some have
even advocated trade protectionism.
She called such moves "irresponsible acts" that obstruct
globalization and hinder the interests of both China and the US as
well as the growth of the world economy.
"China and the United States need to, based on our respective
national conditions, properly address issues arising in the course
of our respective economic adjustments and resolve bilateral
economic and trade issues through enhanced dialogue and
consultation, and in a reasonable manner," she said. "Attempts to
politicize trade issues should be resisted."
Wu said China-US business and trade relations are "cooperative
in nature" and said she expected the two sides to address disputes
and problems in "a coolheaded, objective and responsible way."
"Mutual benefit and win-win progress remain the defining
features of our trade ties. This is the larger picture that no
problem can overshadow," she added.
The issues of export control and easing of protectionism in the
US are expected to be the major topics of the strategic economic
dialogue in Washington next week. The talks will also touch upon
other issues, including services, investment, energy, environment
The China-US dialogue, which was jointly initiated by the two
countries' presidents in September 2006, is an important channel
for the two to discuss economic issues concerning the overall
strategic and long-term interests, and address, as appropriate,
contentious issues in bilateral economic relations.
Despite economic conflicts, China and the US have witnessed
strong growth in bilateral trade and investment, becoming each
other's second-largest trade partner from an "almost nonexistent"
trade volume 35 years ago.
(China Daily May 18, 2007)