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China-US to seek consensus on trade disputes, boosting cooperation

By Liu Hui | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-11-08 14:35

China and the United States are expected to seek a broad consensus on resolving trade disputes while boosting cooperation in the areas of cultural exchanges and infrastructure investment to keep up the good momentum in the bilateral relationship during US President Donald Trump's three-day visit in Beijing that starts Wednesday, analysts said.

Trump's visit is the first of its kind since he took office in January. His meeting with President Xi Jinping is also expected to further boost bilateral exchanges between the world's two leading economies since both leaders already established "warm personal relationship" at Trump's Mar-a-lago resort this April, said Li Yong, director at the China-US-EU Study Center of the China Association of International Trade.

However, bilateral trade, an area with growing disputes and frictions between the two sides, was high on Trump's agenda, spoke Huo Jianguo, vice-chairman of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies.

He said the US side focuses more on the trade imbalance with China. In fact, the US trade deficit with China, referring only to trade in goods, has been greatly exaggerated, while the trade in services is in surplus.

Disagreements on trade issues between the two sides have existed for a long time, but Huo believed this kind of top-level communication will be one of the most effective ways to manage disagreements as long as they uphold the principle of wide consultation and mutual benefit.

"To engage in pragmatic cooperation, such as building up educational exchanges and using shared services to improve cybersecurity, will help anchor China-US ties in the years ahead," added Huo.

The visit will provide a better opportunity to help the US understand China in a new era as China's economic transformation and upgrading intensifies, said Jake Parker, vice president of China operations at the US-China Business Council.

He said he hoped both sides could step up their efforts in building a stable, fair business environment while avoiding misunderstandings and managing differences during the two top heads' frequent communication.

Before the meeting in Beijing, the two leaders have maintained close contact, including face-to-face talks at the Mar-a-lago resort in Florida and the G20 Summit in Hamburg, phone conversations and sending messages on issues of common concern since Trump took office.

Contact the writer at: liuhui1@chinadaily.com.cn

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