Li urges US to lift trade restrictions

Updated: 2011-12-10 09:02

By Ma Liyao (China Daily)

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Li urges US to lift trade restrictions

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang meets former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson in Beijing on Friday. Li urged the US to take concrete steps to remove unreasonable restrictions in the economic and trade sphere. [Photo / Xinhua]

Healthy, stable bilateral relationship mutually beneficial, leader says

BEIJING - Vice-Premier Li Keqiang on Friday urged the United States to take concrete action to eliminate unreasonable Sino-US trade restrictions.

Li made the remarks during a meeting with visiting former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson, saying both countries should work as equals to tackle bilateral trade issues through dialogue.

A long-term, healthy and stable relationship between China and the United States is good for both countries and the world, Li said, adding that both should work together to establish a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.

Ties between Beijing and Washington have been strained after US lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle heaped blame on Chinese policies for their economic woes under mounting domestic pressures as they enter the election year.

A letter on Friday from a group of US lawmakers urged President Barack Obama to open an investigation into China's trade practices in the clean energy sector.

It echoed a plea last month from SolarWorld Industries America, a subsidiary of SolarWorld AG of Germany and the sector's leading manufacturer in the United States, for Obama to impose trade sanctions on China for what the company charged were unfair subsidies to its solar panel exporters.

Chinese solar panel makers rejected the complaint, warning that it risked "seriously hindering the development of green energy" and accused SolarWorld of benefiting from lavish US government subsidies.

Xinhua commented on Dec 4 that US solar companies held "double standards" by "selectively ignoring the millions of dollars in tax breaks and public subsidies ... they themselves received".

Paulson arrived in Beijing on Monday to attend a forum on sustainable urban development. He said the US needs to enhance cooperation with China, and he is willing to make contributions.

Paulson also met with Vice-President Xi Jinping on Wednesday. Xi urged the US to "curb its tendency of politicizing economic issues" in order to improve the environment for bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

He also called on the US to ease restrictions on high-tech exports to China and to facilitate and provide assistance for Chinese companies that wish to invest in the US.

There has also been increased criticism from US lawmakers of China's currency, which they say is grossly undervalued and costs US jobs. Beijing strongly refutes the claim.

On Thursday, the yuan weakened to its daily limit for the seventh consecutive day, the longest drop in three years.

Xinhua and AFP contributed to this story