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Hangzhou Consensus Injects Vigor in China-US Cooperation

Oct 14 , 2016
  • Wu Sike

    Member on Foreign Affairs Committee, CPPCC

The G20 Summit in Hangzhou came to a fruitful conclusion. The consensus that was adopted helped to chart the course for global economic development, define the basic principles for policy coordination among G20 members, and analyze difficulties that might emerge on the future road of global economic development. Now it’s time for action, and for all countries to forge synergy in policy, improve the global governance and achieve win-win cooperation.

During the Hangzhou Summit, President Xi Jinping laid out China’s goals for global economic governance, which include a just and highly efficient financial system, an open and transparent trade system, a green and low-carbon energy system, and an inclusive and interconnected development system. It’s the first time that China put forward its concepts about global economic governance, and it will help enrich the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation. 

Economic and trade cooperation plays a prominent role in the global economic governance system. For the United States and China, the two biggest economies in the world, their strengthened cooperation involves not only interests of the two nations, but also the development of the entire global economy.

During the meeting between Xi and US President Barack Obama on Sept 3 at Hangzhou, they finalized important agreements in 35 areas ranging from macroeconomic and industrial structural reforms, bilateral investment treaty to trade cooperation. About three weeks later, Premier Li Keqiang, while attending the UN General Assembly in New York, also met with Obama. They agreed to jointly push for early conclusion of the bilateral investment treaty talks and mutual expansion of market accession. With all these agreements in place, China-US economic and trade relations are expected to maintain strong momentum, and will serve as the ballast and a booster for the development of overall bilateral ties. 

Trade between the two countries increased from some $2 billion at the time the diplomatic ties were established to a record high of about $560 billion in 2015. Chinese direct investment in the US has helped create more than 80,000 jobs for Americans. And the eight rounds of Strategic and Economic Dialogue have yielded a cumulative of 589 achievements.

China and the US have not only broadened the scope of their cooperation, but also made it more inclusive. During the Eighth China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing in June, the two sides promised: “Together with other G20 members, use all policy tools to build confidence and growth; use fiscal policy flexibly to promote growth; in consistency with central banks' mandate, use monetary policy to support economic activity and ensure price stability; and pursue structural reform to increase mid-term growth potential.” 

Due to the fact that China-US economic and trade relations are enormous and involve interests of a wide range of parties, it’s only natural that it may hit some snags in the course of development. For instance, in coping with the global financial crisis, the US, in the face of an economic downturn, continued to resort to trade protectionism and technical barriers, and imposed restrictions on imports from other countries. In particular, it resorted to various tools and methods to block Chinese companies and Chinese products from entering the US market. At the same time, it also set higher barriers for exports of products and technologies to China. All these hindered the development of China-US economic and trade cooperation. As the largest economy in the world, the US has the unparalleled leading position in the technological field, and is therefore obligated in helping other countries to develop. In terms of technological exports, the US should give special favor to the developing nations by lowering the barriers and reducing obstacles. Therefore, how much the US loosens its control over high-tech product exports to China will be one of the major benchmark indicators in evaluating the efficiency and performance of the economic and trade cooperation between the two.

In fact, trade protectionism is one of the easiest-to-apply economic policies, and also one of the most harmful. Many problems relating to China-US economic and trade cooperation could and should be solved along with the development of bilateral cooperation. China and the US should strengthen dialogue and consultation, and seek to stimulate bilateral as well as global economic growth. It’s encouraging that bilateral economic and trade relations have been progressing along this right road in the past years.

Not long ago, Inspur Technologies Co, one of China’s leading IT industry enterprises, announced the establishment of a joint venture with Cisco Systems Inc, a global Internet system giant. The two will make the best use of their advanced technologies to develop high-end products and technologies that could satisfy China’s needs for the IT industry development. The Inspur-Cisco alliance helps make Chinese companies more confident in their global expansion drive. In particular, in the context of China’s opening up and China-US economic, trade and cyberspace cooperation, the Inspur-Cisco alliance will be more meaningful and significant.

President Xi Jinping, in meeting with business leaders from China and the US, said that the essence for the China-US economic and trade cooperation is for mutually beneficial and win-win outcomes. At present, when the two countries both face new economic environment and opportunities, it is extremely important for the two to deepen cooperation for their own benefits and for global prosperity. The Inspur-Cisco cooperation serves as one of the best examples for bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Along with the development of their economic and trade cooperation, it is believed that more examples of this kind of cooperation will emerge to inject new vigor into China-US economic and trade cooperation and to the global economic governance.

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