Asserting that US-China bilateral trade is “critical to the world economy”, a top Chinese diplomat said Beijing has kept its door open for trade talks with the Trump administration, as the two top global economies are locked in a trade war.
Addressing a joint press conference here on Friday, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said, “According to the US-China Business Council, trade and economic relations with China help every American family save USD 850 annually and creates as many as six million jobs in this country.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Defence Secretary James Mattis and Chinese Minister of National Defence Wei Fenghe were also present at the press conference.
China and the US are currently locked in an ongoing trade war as each country has introduced tariffs on goods traded between each other. Trump has promised to fix China’s “longtime abuse of the broken international system and unfair practices”.
“Our (China-US) trade and economic relations are mutually beneficial by nature and have delivered tangible gains to both the countries and its people. As part and parcel of the global industrial chain, China-US trade and economic relations help allocate resources globally in a more efficient way, hence it is critical to the world economy,” Yang said.
He said the trade issues that exist between America and China are due to different economic structures and development stages in the two countries.
“These issues can be resolved through dialogue and consultation. A trade war, instead of leading to any solution, will only end up hurting both sides and the global economy, Yang said.
“The Chinese side has kept the channel of dialogue open. The door to negotiations remains open,” the top Chinese diplomat said and expressed hope that the two sides find a “mutually acceptable solution” to the ongoing trade issue.
US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet in Argentina later this month on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit.
Pompeo, while interacting with the media, said, “President Trump has made it clear that the US seeks a constructive and results-oriented relationship with China grounded in fairness, reciprocity and respect.”
He also hoped for cooperation from the Chinese government and energy companies to address Iran’s nuclear missile programmes.
“Bringing Iran’s oil export revenues to zero is a critical component of this campaign,” he said.
The US on November 5 imposed “the toughest ever” sanctions on a defiant Iran aimed at altering the Iranian regime’s “behaviour”. The sanctions cover Iran’s banking and energy sectors and reinstate penalties for countries and companies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that do not halt Iranian oil imports.
However, it temporarily allowed India, China and five other major importers to continue buying Iranian oil as they showed “significant reduction” in oil purchase from the Persian Gulf country.
“Even as the two countries (US and China) confront important differences in the bilateral relationship, their cooperation remains essential on many, many central issues,” Pompeo said.
Citing an example, he said the two sides should remain united “in pursuit of a final, fully-verified denuclearisation of North Korea”.
Yang said China supports direct dialogue between America and North Korea and hope that the two sides will “accommodate each other’s legitimate concerns, build trust and advance denuclearisation process and the establishment of a peace mechanism in tandem”.
The Chinese official Beijing is committed to peace and development in the Asia-Pacific and respect the US’ interest in the region.
However, at the same time, he said, Beijing expects Washington to respect China’s security and development interests and sovereignty in the Asia-Pacific.