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China says it remains willing to discuss US trade issues

By ZHONG NAN/JING SHUIYU/FU JING/ZHOU JIN | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-27 07:47

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying speaks at a routine press briefing on March 26. [Photo/fmprc.gov.cn]

China stressed on Monday the door for dialogue and consultation regarding trade disputes with the United States has always been open, and international trade today needs rules rather than supremacy by any one nation.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China is willing to negotiate with the US based on the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit to properly manage their differences.

It is time for the US to stop adopting hegemonic measures to intimidate others in area of global trade, she said at a news briefing in Beijing.

Her comments came after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday he is optimistic the US can reach an agreement with China to avoid a trade war.

"Reviving talks on the China-US bilateral investment treaty would be a breakthrough in establishing a systematized arrangement for trade and other commercial activities," said Long Guoqiang, vice-president of the Development Research Center of the State Council.

There are a number of reasons the US is very concerned about the bilateral trade imbalance, with one of the most critical factors being the influence on its employment, he said. The idea that China is "stealing" jobs from the US through exports is a one-sided perspective, he added.

"China has an immense goods trade surplus with the US, but the country's huge trade deficit in services reminds one of the comparative advantages of each country in terms of the manufacturing and service sectors, and demonstrates the complementary traits of their differing economic structures," Long said.

A study done by the Development Research Center shows that restrictions on exports of high-tech products from the US to China undermine the competitiveness of US products in China.

The percentage of high-tech imports into the Chinese market from the US fell from 16.7 percent in 2001 to 8.2 percent in 2016. China imported $227 billion in computer chip products in 2016, with only 4 percent of them coming from the US.

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