Equality urged for trade deal negotiations

BEIJING (China Daily / ANN) - Beijing said on Tuesday that any trade deal with the United States should be balanced and mutually beneficial, rejecting US President Donald Trump’s assertion that such an agreement should contain built-in advantages for Washington.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang’s remark came after Trump said in an interview that he had told China that a trade deal between the two countries can’t be “50-50” and should be more in favor of the US.

Lu said it’s unrealistic to ask for two economies to be absolutely and equally open to each other in trade, and economic globalization is a process where different countries exchange with and complement one another based on their own advantages.

Reciprocity in trade should mean general reciprocity and balance of interests in all open markets, he added.

“As to negotiations on a trade deal, it’s impossible to ask for absolute equality in all areas. But the deal must be two-way, balanced, equal and mutually beneficial,” the spokesman said.

Foreign investors continued to favor China even as the US kept threatening to impose tariffs on Chinese goods, Lu said, responding to Trump’s remark that many companies are shifting to Vietnam and other locations in Asia due to the tariffs.

Lu said that the latest moves by the US have caused some disruption in the global market, but companies will ultimately base their investment decisions upon an overall strategic judgment of economic prospects.

Zhang Ming, head of the China’s mission to the European Union, told news media in Brussels on Monday that China has a mature industrial system, an enhanced capacity for scientific and technological innovation, the largest middle-income group in the world, and a huge domestic consumer and investment market. 

“China’s economic development has become more independent as domestic demand has become the main driving force of its economic growth. Last year, China’s consumption accounted for 76.2 percent of its economic growth, and its export dependence dropped to 17.9 percent.”

The International Monetary Fund recently forecast that China’s economy would grow 6.3 percent in 2019, up 0.1 percentage point on its last prediction. Zhang said this is despite the fact that the fund downgraded its growth outlook for most major economies, as well as the global economy.

“Today, it seems unilateralism and protectionism are gaining momentum only in the US. China has economic partners all over the world, as more and more countries want to share in the dividends of China’s development and achieve mutually beneficial results,” Zhang said.

According to Zhang, from January to April this year, China’s foreign trade grew by 4.3 percent. Exports to the EU increased by 14.2 percent, while imports from the EU grew by 8.3 percent.


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