SCIO briefing on China's position on economic and trade consultations with US

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Wang Shouwen, vice minister of the Ministry of Commerce, deputy China international trade representative

Guo Weimin, vice minister of the State Council Information Office

June 2, 2019

Guo Weimin:


Ladies, gentlemen, media friends, good morning. Welcome to this press conference.


Today, the State Council Information Office (SCIO) released a white paper entitled "China's Position on the China-U.S. Economic and Trade Consultations." At this press conference, we will brief you about its major content, along necessary explanations.


Present at this press conference is Mr. Wang Shouwen, vice minister of the Ministry of Commerce and deputy China international trade representative. I'm your host, Guo Weimin, vice minister of the State Council Information Office.


First of all, let me brief you about the major content of the white paper. The document is entitled "China's Position on the China-U.S. Economic and Trade Consultations." It summarizes and introduces the history of China-U.S. trade friction, and the general situation of the bilateral trade talks. It also explains China's principles and position on the various issues involved. The document contains approximately 8,300 words, and contains three parts - foreword, main content and conclusion.


The white paper notes that trade cooperation remains the ballast and the propeller for China-U.S. relations. This issue is critical to the fundamental interests of the two nations and their people, as well as world prosperity and peace. Since March 2018, in response to the economic and trade friction unilaterally initiated by the United States, China has had to take forceful measures to defend its national interests and its people. At the same time, China has always adhered to the basic principle of resolving disputes through dialogue and consultations, and there have been several rounds of trade negotiations with the United States. China has tried its best to maintain a stable trade relationship with the United States. We certainly don't want to see  a trade war occur. However, if it really comes, we won't be afraid, and will fight it if necessary. Our attitude on this has never changed.


The white paper clearly shows how China-U.S. trade friction provoked by the United States has harmed the interests of both countries and, indeed, the world as a whole. The imposition of trade tariffs has done no good to the United States as well as others. It has impeded bilateral trade investment and cooperation. It has also affected market confidence and economic stability worldwide. A trade war won't "make America great again." Instead, it has raised the production costs of American enterprises, increased domestic prices in America, harmed U.S. economic growth and people's livelihood, and obstructed the flow of American exports to China. The trade bullying carried out by the U.S. have had a negative influence on the entire world. They have damaged the multilateral trading system, enormously disturbed the global industrial chain and supply chain, and damaged market confidence. They pose a severe challenge to the recovery of the global economy, and pose a grave threat to advancement of economic globalization.


The white paper noted that in the trade negotiations with China, the United States has gone back on its words, and not acted in good faith. Since the United States provoked the trade friction, bilateral trade and investment have been badly affected. This led to both sides agreeing to sit down and discuss a solution. Since the trade negotiations started in February 2018, significant progress has been made, and consensus has been reached on the majority of issues. However, there were also various twists and turns, all of them caused by the U.S. government, as it has repeatedly abandoned the bilateral consensus, gone back on its words, and broken its promises. The setbacks in our trade negotiations should all be blamed on the U.S. government.


The white paper pointed out that China has always adhered to the principles of equality, mutual benefit and good faith throughout the consultations. It has always believed that the U.S. threat of trade war and the imposition of tariffs won't help solve trade problems. China and the United States should seek solutions through consultations in the spirit of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, goodwill and good faith.


The white paper also emphasizes that, in China-U.S. trade consultations, the sovereignty and dignity of each country must be respected. Any agreement must be on an equal basis and be beneficial to both sides. When it concerns major issues of principle, China will never take a step back.


Finally, the white paper stresses that a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement between China and the United Stated conforms to the interests of both countries, and also meet world expectations. We hope that the United States and China can work together and meet each other halfway when managing trade disputes and enhancing trade cooperation, so as to jointly promote the Sino-U.S. relationship on the basis of coordination, cooperation and stability, and to increase the benefits available to the people of the two countries and the world.


The white paper "China's Position on the China-U.S. Economic and Trade Consultations" is available in eight languages, namely: Chinese, English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Arabic and Japanese. It is published by the People's Publishing House and the Foreign Languages Press, and is distributed by the Xinhua Bookstore across the country.


That's all for my part. Now, let's welcome Mr. Wang Shouwen, vice minister of the Ministry of Commerce, deputy China international trade representative, to provide a detailed briefing.

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