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Dialogue with US leads to cooperation

Chen Weihua/An Baijie
Updated: Jul 21,2017 7:52 AM     China Daily

China and the United States agreed to cooperate on macroeconomy, finance, trade, investment and global governance during their first Comprehensive Economic Dialogue on July 19, as the two sides discussed the One-Year Plan of economic cooperation in Washington.

Vice-Premier Wang Yang, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross co-chaired the meeting, which was held at the US Treasury Department. The two sides discussed bilateral trade and investment, a 100-Day Action Plan and the One-Year Plan, global economy and governance and macroeconomic policy, finance and agriculture.

Wang said cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US, which are each other’s largest trade partners and important sources of foreign investment.

“Good cooperation between China and the US, the world’s two largest economies, will not only benefit the businesses and people of the two countries, but the entire world,” he said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news conference on July 20 that the dialogue is innovative, pragmatic and constructive, through which the two sides have set the right direction for China-US economic cooperation.

The US side agreed that the first round of the dialogue should not only discuss concrete trade issues, but also focus on long-term strategic challenges, Lu said.

The US also agreed that the two countries should make joint efforts to maximize the interests of both sides and push bilateral economic ties to develop more fair, balanced and sustained trade, Lu said in response to a question about a US commercial lobby group’s criticism of the dialogue.

Vice-Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said a major task for the dialogue was reviewing progress on the consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump when they met in Florida in early April.

In their first summit at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, the two leaders agreed on a four-track comprehensive dialogue mechanism, including the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, and the 100-Day Action Plan for economic cooperation.

“Both sides spoke highly of the implementation of the 100-Day Action Plan,” Zhu told reporters on July 19 after the conclusion of the dialogue.

A statement from Mnuchin and Ross after the meeting said, “The principles of balance, fairness and reciprocity on matters of trade will continue to guide the American position so we can give American workers and businesses an opportunity to compete on a level playing field.”

About 20 Chinese and US business leaders, including Jack Ma of Alibaba Group and Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group, met on July 18 in Washington.

In the past decade, US exports to China increased on average by 11 percent a year, while China’s exports to the US grew by 6.6 percent on average per year.