Xi hails trade-deal cooperation

WASHINGTON (China Daily/ANN) - The trade agreement between China and the United States, showed that the world's top two economies can work out their issues effectively on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

The phase one trade agreement between China and the United States, signed Wednesday in Washington, showed that the world's top two economies can work out their issues effectively on the basis of equality and mutual respect, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a message delivered at the deal-signing ceremony.

In the next step, the two sides need to implement the agreement "in real earnest" and optimize its positive impact for even greater progress in China-US trade and economic cooperation, Xi said in the message delivered to US President Donald Trump by Vice-Premier Liu He.

Maintaining the healthy and steady growth of China-US relations serves the interest of both countries and requires joint efforts from both sides, Xi said in the message.

"In that spirit, I hope the US side will treat fairly Chinese companies and their regular trade and investment activities, and give support to the collaboration between enterprises, research institutes, and schools and colleges of the two countries as it will help enhance mutual trust and cooperation between us," Xi said.

"I believe that under our guidance, China-US relations will deliver more results and bring greater benefits to our peoples in the year ahead," the Chinese president said.

The trade deal, inked by Trump and Liu, China's top trade negotiator, capped nearly two years of a bruising trade battle that had roiled stock markets, ruined businesses and weighed on global growth.

Trump said the signing represents a "momentous step" toward a future of fair and reciprocal trade.

"This is an unbelievable deal for the United States. And, ultimately, it's a great deal for both countries. And it's going to also lead to even a more stable peace throughout the world," he said.

However, after the phase one agreement, the US still keeps in place high tariffs on about $360 billion worth of Chinese imports, including Chinese industrial goods and components used by US manufacturers.

In his talks, the US president took time to thank a long list of US officials, including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who were among about 200 representatives from business, government and diplomatic circles attending the event.

In his speech, Liu said that over the past two years, the two sides encountered some difficulties in the economic and trade fields, and at times, there were setbacks in their trade talks because, on some issues, "we don't see eye to eye".

However, the two economic teams didn't give up, and with relentless efforts from both sides and with the larger picture in mind, they have taken a serious approach to their differences and worked to manage them appropriately, reaching the phase one deal.

"This is a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement," Liu said. "It will bring about stable economic growth, promote world peace and prosperity, and is in the interest of the producers, consumers, investors in both countries."

After the signing, China will work with the US in the principle of equality and mutual respect, strictly honor the agreement, accommodate each other's core concerns, and ensure the good implementation of the deal, Liu said.

Liu also said China will continue to enhance the legal environment and step up the protection of property rights and intellectual property.

"China will open itself even wider," he said.

The US-China Business Council (USCBC) said in a statement on Wednesday that the phase one agreement is a "concrete step" toward restoring stability and trust in the overall US-China relationship.

"This is an encouraging first step that should benefit many of our members," USCBC President Craig Allen said. "But the work isn't done yet. Implementation of the agreement will be critically important. Moreover, the phase one agreement should be swiftly followed by continued phase two negotiations on remaining issues."

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