A new round of economic and trade talks between China and the US ended in Beijing on Friday. Chinese President Xi Jinping met US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, marking the first time President Xi has met the US team since the trade frictions escalated. This signals that the trade negotiations have made progress in the previous rounds of negotiations, while also giving impetus to the development of China-US trade relations in the next stage.
Lighthizer and Mnuchin extended greetings and best wishes from Trump to Xi. They said the trade relationship between the United States and China is very important. Both teams involved in the talks have been stepping up efforts in implementing the consensus reached by the two heads of state after their meeting in Argentina, according to the two senior officials.
The new round of trade negotiations reinforced the fundamental roles that head-of-state diplomacy plays in navigating China-US relations. Cooperation is the best option for the two countries. Implementing the consensus reached by the two heads of state, both teams sought common ground based on mutual respect and win-win prospects.
Both teams had in-depth communication on topics of mutual concern including technology transfer, intellectual property rights protection, non-tariff barriers, the service industry, agriculture, trade balance and implementation mechanism; as well as on issues of China's concern.
The two sides have reached an agreement in principle on major issues. They also had discussions on a memorandum of understanding on bilateral economic and trade issues. Such positive outcomes are in line with what both sides desire and expectations of the international community.
The Chinese market has always been full of vigor and vitality. As foreign trade rose 9.7 percent year on year to a historic high of 30.51 trillion yuan (about 4.5 trillion US dollars) in 2018, China as always is willing to share the fruits and opportunities of economic development with the global community.
In the meantime, China also emphasizes that there are principles in cooperation. As uncertainties and challenges remain, China will always stand for its fundamental interests in trade negotiations.
Only those who look at the bigger picture can win in the long term. Seeking common ground while managing differences and focusing on broad-based cooperation in the long-term is the best choice for both sides.
Based on the positive outcomes made in the recent rounds of trade negotiations, China and the US are scheduled to start a new round of trade talks in Washington next week with only two weeks remaining for the March 1 deadline. Every step in the next stage counts.
If both sides sustain the good momentum and make efforts to reach an agreement within the deadline, China-US trade relations can develop stably in the future for the benefits of the two countries as well as the world.