Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang (R) speaks with Craig Allen, chairman of the US-China Business Council, August 13, 2021.
The US government is facing increasing pressure from US business circles and its society to establish trade ties with China, with the new Chinese ambassador to the US expressing on Friday that China will continue to open up to the world. Chinese analysts said on Saturday that this is a signal that trade relations between China and the US could first recover amid lingering tensions. However, it requires the US to fix its mistakes first, such as canceling all unfair tariffs on Chinese goods.
According to the website of the Chinese embassy in the US, the Chinese ambassador to the US Qin Gang had a virtual meeting with Craig Allen, chairman of the US-China Business Council (USCBC) on Friday.
Qin praised the contribution that the USCBC has made over the years in fostering relations between China and the US, stressing that trade cooperation between the two countries is mutually beneficial and win-win in nature. China will open its door even further to the world. It is hoped that Chinese and American business will continue to improve communication and cooperation, injecting positive energy into China-US relations.
Speaking on behalf of the USCBC and its affiliates, Allen welcomed Ambassador Qin to his office and said a stable relationship between the US and China is essential for the business communities of the two countries. The USCBC is poised to work towards this goal and further promote friendly exchanges and win-win cooperation between the US and China.
Against the backdrop of the tense bilateral relationship, holding talks with corporate representatives is a necessary and valid step, He Weiwen, a former senior trade official and executive councilor of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, told the Global Times on Saturday.
The US business community has actively supported the expansion of China-US economic, trade and investment cooperation. The USCBC is one of the leading organizations that has promoted bilateral economic exchanges in recent decades, he said.
Lü Xiang, an expert on American politics and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Saturday that the USCBC represents the interests of the business world deeply affected by the China-US trade war. , which was launched unilaterally by the former Trump administration, so they are desperately hoping that the Biden administration will fix the mistakes.
Founded in 1973, the USCBC represents more than 200 American companies doing business with China. Most of them are large multinational corporations, such as Apple Inc, Ford Motor, IBM and Honeywell. “When we talk about the US multinationals, the USCBC has a great influence on the economic and trade relations between China and the US,” he said.
Meanwhile, experts stressed that the White House, which has political intent to maintain its hegemony around the world, may not be able to reinstate its current confrontational approach to China any time soon.
However, rather than various Washington politicians, it is the objective laws of economic development that determine the direction of economic relations between China and the US, he said, stressing that the two nations enjoy, essentially, strong industrial complementarities, which the goal is economic rules that Washington cannot change.
China USA Photo: GT
US must show sincerity
To prevent bilateral relations from deteriorating further as a result of US provocations and containment policies against China, Chinese officials and diplomats have made every effort to get ties back on track. Trade is an important area where both sides are likely to see progress or even a breakthrough if the US is sincere, analysts say.
The new Chinese ambassador’s tweet is about his virtual meeting with Allen. “I’m excited to meet @USChinaBusiness President Craig Allen and discuss the prospects of China-US trade. We both want robust China-US trade and investment to benefit our peoples,” Qin tweeted.
Since announcing his arrival in the US two weeks ago, Qin has reiterated the sincere stance on the Chinese side to promote cooperation. He tweeted last week that China and the US have great potential for cooperation in the new energy vehicle sector, as well as in the common fight against the rampant spread of the Delta variant.
He congratulated both US and Chinese track and field teams for their stellar performance at the Tokyo Olympics and posted a photo online of him standing in front of the Jin Jiang Hotel Auditorium, where the Sino-US Joint Communiqué (Shanghai Communiqué) was issued during the American President Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, with the words “let’s go again!” On his first day after the self-quarantine ended, Qin met with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, stressing to “improve communication and dialogue with the US and work to promote a rational, stable , manageable and constructive relationship between China and the US.”
Since the Biden administration took office in January, although senior officials from both sides have held several rounds of talks, including in Tianjin between China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, it has so far been unsuccessful. been able to stop the Biden administration from enforcing the toxic trade policies of the previous Trump administration.
It’s pretty clear now that the US didn’t win the trade war. Reports have repeatedly shown that US consumers and businesses bear the losses and hundreds of thousands of US jobs have been lost as a result of the economic conflict.
“Unfortunately, US President Joe Biden has used unprofessional politicians like National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to take business from a ‘national security’ aspect, so US business circles have so far not seen the new administration correct the mistakes, and normal US citizens are also suffering from the deteriorating economic situation as Biden has not yet corrected the mistakes, which is why his approval rating continues to fall,” Lü said.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently admitted that the tariffs on China are hurting US consumers. More than 30 business groups last week appealed to the White House and called for tariffs on Chinese goods to be lifted.
In a report Thursday, Bloomberg quoted sources as saying the US Treasury Department talks about a visit to Beijing are “in the early stages”. If the visit takes place, Yellen is likely to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, and she would be the highest-ranking Biden appointee to visit China.
Chinese experts said the biggest obstacle for the US to tighten trade ties with China is senior officials such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Sullivan, because they believe in an erroneous strategy to confront China, leaving the US with huge amounts of unnecessary waste. spending resources, putting the US economy in trouble.
“Trade is a very professional area that requires professional officials like Yellen,” so if the US lets it do its job, China-US trade relations could at least recover from the ongoing tension, but if Yellen’s visit failed, then the White House and the US State Department are the ones to blame, Lü said.
In the short term, there may not be a significant improvement in overall China-US relations, but partial improvements can still be expected, including long-term active business exchanges and cooperation between local governments, he noted.
The US still politicizes tracing the origins of the COVID-19 virus and still tries to push through the Indo-Pacific strategy to contain China, “but if both sides decide to restore trade relations, the Tensions in other areas are also easing a little bit, so China will welcome the trend to restore trade relations,” Lü noted, adding that the US needs to correct its mistakes first. Canceling unfair and unreasonable rates would be an important indicator of Washington’s sincerity.
There are still many problems for the US to solve in order to restore trade relations with China. In early June, Biden signed an executive order extending restrictions on US investment in 59 Chinese companies, which have been lifted without any evidence from the US of having ties to the Chinese military. The US has also put pressure on Xinjiang-related trade issues by listing several Xinjiang solar panel makers on an entity list over trumped-up allegations of “forced labor”.
These are all likely to be the hot topics that the two sides will face in future negotiations. China hopes the US will be constructive and pragmatic, rather than remain arrogant to speak from a position of strength, Chinese experts say.