Chinese leader says his country is working for an agreement on the basis of ‘mutual respect and equality’ in first public comment on prospects for phase one agreement
Xi tells Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing ‘Chinese dream’ is nothing to fear but country wants to avoid repeating past ‘humiliations’
China wants to reach an interim trade deal with the United States but it will not shy away from retaliation if necessary, President Xi Jinping said on Friday.
Chinese leader said:
“We want to work for a phase one agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality.
“When necessary we will fight back, but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war.
We did not initiate this trade war and this is not something we want,”
“China and the United States should step up communication on strategic concerns to avoid misjudgment and enhance mutual understanding,”
Chinese leader said.o a pool report.
Speculation has been mounting that the process of ironing out the details of an interim agreement has proved slower than expected as Beijing and Washington struggle to agree on how to roll back tariffs on each other’s goods.
The two sides also remain at odds over thornier issues such as technology transfers and intellectual property protection.
US President Donald Trump said earlier this week that China was not
“stepping up to the level that I want” in the negotiation.
But the US Congress vote to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act has since triggered a furious response from China and the issue now threatens to overshadow the trade talks.
On Thursday The Wall Street Journal reported that China had invited US trade negotiators to a new round of talks in Beijing, citing unidentified sources.
It also said Beijing hoped the talks could take place before next Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday in the US.
US officials had indicated they would be willing to meet in person but had not committed to a date, the report said, and they would be reluctant to travel for the discussions unless China made it clear it would make commitments on intellectual property protection.
forced technology transfers and agricultural purchases.
Charlene Barshefsky, a former US trade representative, told the forum that ultimately only Trump could sign off on a deal, adding:
“What I can safely say is that his eye is on the 2020 election and many of his decisions should be looked at in that light.”
Barshefsky referred to a report jointly produced by the World Bank and the Chinese State Council’s Development Research Centre in 2012 when Liu was the head of the think tank.
The report laid out a new development strategy for China to rebalance the role of government and market.
to conduct market-oriented reforms aimed at creating
“a modern, harmonious and creative high-income society”.
But in recent years China has frequently been criticised for the slow pace of reform, and Barshefsky said:
“Had China implemented the reforms outlined in that report, its economy today would be far stronger than it is. “
It would be a less fragile economy and China’s debt load wouldn’t be what it is today.
But that’s water under the bridge from the point of the view of Chinese policymakers.
“From Lighthizer’s point of view, structural changes are all important.
From Trump’s point of view, agricultural purchases.
with his eyes on farmers in the Mid West which are swing states for his re-election, is critical”.
Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the Eurasia Group political consultancy, predicted that the Hong Kong issue would not have any impact on the deal “
as long as it doesn’t further escalate”.