Trade looms large in Trump visit to China

Updated 2017-11-03 09:03:18 Global Times

Both sides to explore ways to deepen ties

U.S. President Donald Trump's forthcoming state visit to China could be remarkably fruitful, especially in trade, building on the advances in Sino-U.S. bilateral cooperation since April, Chinese experts said.

At Chinese President Xi Jinping's invitation, Trump will visit China from November 8 to 10, foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang announced in a press release on Thursday.

The two heads of state will discuss China-U.S. relations and major global and regional issues of common concern, Lu said.

Lu said China stands ready to work with the U.S. to achieve important results for Trump's visit, and the Xi-Trump meeting is set to inject new, strong impetus to the development of bilateral ties.

U.S. media said the highlight of Trump's 12-day visit to Asia will be the creation of a united front on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue as well as reassuring regional leaders of the U.S.' defensive capabilities and trade cooperation.

CNBC quoted Ryan Hass, a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution, as saying that "more balanced trade and better cooperation on DPRK" will be the major goals the U.S. leader attempts to seek.

During Trump's visit to China, Fu Ziying, China's deputy international trade representative and vice minister of commerce, will meet with a U.S. delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The two sides will hold trade-related events and sign commercial cooperation agreements.

Fu said the two sides have reached some agreements, will prepare for more during the visit and explore ways to deepen Sino-U.S. economic and trade collaboration.

"It is safe to expect multiple deliverables on trade during the second meeting between the two heads of state, as the foundation for such an enhancement was planted in April during their meeting in Florida," Ni Feng, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of American Studies told the Global Times on Thursday.

During a meeting at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in April, Xi and Trump agreed to establish a comprehensive economic dialogue and a 100-day plan to boost bilateral economic cooperation. The plan led to China allowing the resumption of U.S. beef imports in June.

"The U.S. has high expectations for economic and trade issues, which is understandable. But on its 'unfair trade' criticism, the U.S. has to understand that China's trade surplus, in many ways, benefits American companies," said Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

U.S. firms manufacture many of their products in China, so when they sell them in the U.S., the money they earn also adds to the surplus on the Chinese side, Bai said. "Bilateral trade cannot be settled by measuring surpluses and deficits."

"China would love to import more from the U.S., but the problem is the U.S. refuses to open up to China in many areas, especially technology. So if the U.S. wants to balance trade, it should also do its part and show sincerity, rather than blaming China," Bai added.

Security cooperation

Huge disagreements on how to address the DPRK's nuclear issue have made achieving security collaboration difficult, Ni said.

China has proposed a "double suspension" to defuse the looming crisis on the Korean Peninsula, which is meant to help the parties return to the negotiating table. But the U.S. refuses to end provocations against DPRK with repeated military drills in the region, with Trump himself being locked in an increasingly bitter war of words with DPRK's leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump will make five stops during his Asian trip. In addition to his state visits, Trump will also attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the U.S.-ASEAN Summit.

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