China will continue to actively increase imports from the U.S. and has deliberately not sought trade surplus with the country, a Chinese official noted Thursday after the U.S. recently said that increasing Chinese imports caused the country's large deficit with China.
On July 19, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at the opening of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue in Washington that, while U.S. exports to China have grown in recent years, imports from China have expanded even faster, leading to a 9 billion trade deficit, according to media reports.
China's goods trade surplus to the U.S. is caused by many factors, such as the difference between the two country's economic structure, industrial competitiveness and international division of labor, Gao Feng, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), told the Global Times on Thursday.
"Other influential elements include the current trade statistics system and U.S. regulations on exports of high-tech products to China," Gao said.
The markets, as well as the choices of consumers, determine the imports or exports between the two nations, according to the MOFCOM spokesman.
China and the U.S. have made active efforts to address bilateral trade imbalances after the two presidents met at Mar-a-Largo, Florida in April, Gao said, noting that China re-started imports of beef from the U.S. last month after a 14-year ban.
In the first half of this year, China imported a total of .4 billion worth of crude oil and liquefied natural gas from the U.S., up 600 percent from the imports of 2016, according to the ministry.