Opting for China-US trade expansion

By Jiang Xufeng
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, December 16, 2010
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As the 21st session of the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) started in Washington on Tuesday, experts predict that the high-level dialogue between the two nations will further improve their economic ties and address issues of mutual concern.

Collaboration between the world's largest developed economy and the largest developing country is of critical importance not only to the two nations' businesses and people, but also to the global economic recovery.

Figures from China's Ministry of Commerce show that China and the United States are the second largest trade partner of each other. During the period from January to September this year, bilateral trade value surged 31.5 percent, surpassing the level before the financial crisis.

"China's economic development and political trajectory are profoundly important in today's world. In virtually every important area of today's world affairs, the US and the world need China to play a proactive and constructive role from energy security to environmental protection, from climate change to public health," said Cheng Li, a senior fellow at Washington-based Brookings Institution.

Over the past three decades, the two nations have achieved great progress in cooperation in economic, trade, cultural and other areas.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has stressed the importance of global collaboration in the post-crisis era.

During President Hu Jintao's meeting with his US counterpart Barack Obama in Seoul last month, both agreed that against the backdrop of the profoundly changing international situation, boosting the Sino-US relationship concerns the whole world.

China's rapid economic growth is good for the US workers, and the US government is committed to improving the bilateral economic relationship with China, US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said earlier this month, adding that at the 21st session of JCCT, the two nations would seek to further nurture and improve the important bilateral economic relationship.

However, this year has seen a string of trade and currency protectionist moves targeting China by the US, which has put the highly intertwined bilateral ties on a bumpy road. There are also two long-lingering issues between the two countries: Washington has not recognized China's market economy status and has maintained restrictions on the export of US high-tech products to China.

China and the US have a wide range of economic and trade ties, and the two sides need to make persistent efforts to address bilateral ties in a realistic and concrete way, said Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution.

"A trade war would be a disaster and a currency war would be very damaging," he added.

Experts, including the President of the National Committee on US-China Relations, Stephen Orlins, have pointed out that common bilateral interests are overwhelmingly complementary and much more important than the differences between the two nations.

Analysts believe that as the Chinese economy undergoes a structural change and moves up the global export value ladder in the coming years, both nations can broaden cooperation in new energy, biotechnology and many other areas.

The growing Chinese market is also of critical importance to the US government's set goal of doubling its exports within five years.

The author is a writer with Xinhua News Agency.

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