China-U.S. economic talks end in Washington

Updated 2017-07-21 11:13:58 CGTN

‍Chinese and U.S. officials on Wednesday concluded the first China-U.S. Comprehensive Economic Dialogue in Washington, which was described as "innovative, result-oriented and constructive".

The dialogue managed to chart the course of China-U.S. economic cooperation and laid a solid foundation for future collaboration, a statement distributed after the meeting on Wednesday said.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang co-chaired the dialogue with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

During the talks, the two sides discussed and reached consensus on a wide range of issues, including China-U.S. trade and investment, the 100-day action plan and the one-year action plan of economic cooperation, global economy and governance, macroeconomic policies, finance, and agriculture.

Wang said the establishment of the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue is a key outcome of the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in their Mar-a-largo summit in April and a major decision made by the two presidents in view of the overall trend of China-U.S. relations.

He pointed out that China and the U.S. are each other's largest trading partners and major sources of investment, and cooperation is the only choice.

As the world's top two economies, China-U.S. cooperation will benefit not only the companies and peoples of both countries, but also the whole world, Wang noted.

"As President Xi Jinping said, we have a thousand reasons to make the China-U.S. relationship work, and no reason to break it," Wang added.

The U.S. side said that the first round of the dialogue allows the two sides to focus not only on concrete economic and trade issues between the two countries, but also on long-term strategic challenges.

"As the world's two largest economies and major drivers of global growth, the U.S. and China have strong overlapping interests," the U.S. side noted.

"The two countries need to work together to maximize the benefits for both sides and develop a fairer, more balanced and sustainable economic relationship between China and the U.S.."

As a "template" and example for China-U.S. economic cooperation, the 100-day action plan has produced some industry-specific commitments, including the resumption of U.S. beef sales in China and the pledge to grant U.S. companies limited access to some financial service sectors.

As for the one-year action plan of economic cooperation, both sides agreed to further substantiate and improve the plan during its implementation in a result-oriented and mutually-beneficial fashion.

China-U.S. trade deficit

Both countries agreed to "work constructively together to reduce trade deficit."

Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told CGTN that the Chinese delegation felt very confident and content that the two sides found this effective mechanism to communicate and address their many differences.

Zhu believes that one way to address this issue is through the U.S. increasing its goods sold to China.

The U.S. has placed barriers on its high-tech exports to China, treating China as a more-or-less hostile power, so it cannot sell products like satellite dishes and integrated circuits to the country, Zhu said, calling on the U.S. to loosen its control.

On the other hand, China has a surplus in the trade of goods, while a big deficit in services trade, he said. The two countries, after a frank and practical analysis of the problems, have reached the consensus that the U.S. shall expand its exports to China instead of reducing imports from China to address the trade imbalance.

Steel overcapacity

Both sides agreed that steel overcapacity is an international issue which needs a global response, said Zhu.

The U.S. acknowledged that China, among the world's major economies, is the country that takes the lead to cope with this issue, and has made unprecedented efforts and achieved obvious outcomes. The two countries have always kept and will continue further close communication over the policies on this issue.

China and the U.S. understood that it is not realistic to solve all problems via one dialogue. Both sides should deepen communication, enhance understanding and promote mutual understanding, said Zhu. Problems and conflicts will be properly handled as the two countries share closely-linked economic ties.

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