Expert: A China-U.S. potential downside of no agreement is significant
Dialogue with Yang Rui

China-U.S. relations under President Trump's administration have been on a wild roller coaster ride. Trade tensions are temporarily eased as the two sides have reached partial agreements on certain areas and made arrangements for future consultation. However, the two countries fail to find common ground on other fronts, leaving bilateral relations uncertain.

Craig Allen, President of U.S.-China Business Council, pointed out that although the trade agreement reached between China and the U.S. at this point was not complete, it was a great start, and it put a floor under what had been continuously deteriorating conditions.  

"We must find a way to trade and invest in a predictable manner. We're not there yet, but at least we're headed in the right direction," Craig commented.

Craig also noted that despite of the preliminary nature of the deal made, the agreements on the four areas, namely agriculture, intellectual property right, market access, and exchange rate, are not lightweight but significant, and if implemented fully, it would be a great step forward.

Craig acknowledged that it was a good faith attempt by both governments to discuss the underlying issues and come out with a better arrangement that allows both leaders to present to their people. And he believed that the leadership is wise enough to realize the benefits of that agreement are very significant, and the potential downside of no agreement is yet more significant.

"This is a crucial moment in the history of China-U.S. bilateral relations. This is a crucial moment in the history of China's opening and reform process. And this is a crucial moment in the global economy," said Craig. "Let us hold hands, get an agreement, and then discuss our other substantial issues in greater details over time."

In regard to the overall China-U.S. relations, Craig stated that people can make an argument about China and the U.S. being partners, competitors, adversaries, or enemies, but over time the competitive element of the relationship is becoming more apparent and evident. In his view, that's not a bad thing at all because competition can make both sides stronger and better as long as it's smart and fair in accordance with the rules.

"In a competition with no rules, somebody's going to get hurt. But in a competition with good strong rules where both sides respect those rules, then both sides can be strengthened. I think that's what we should aim for, with rules that are reciprocally acknowledged and respected and enforced. That should be the goal. If we're able to get to that place, and I do believe we can, then both countries will be able to advance independently, and also the rest of the world will benefit," Craig said.

Craig warned that China-U.S. decoupling that stems from an excessive and exaggerated perception of national security threat is negative for both sides. The two countries should keep decoupling to the truly sensitive industries concerning national security only and not move beyond that.

Dialogue With Yang Rui is a prime time daily English talk show on CGTN. The 30-minute talk show covers a wide range of domestic and international topics, providing a balanced and critical perspective on current affairs and analysis within the framework of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary comparisons.

Schedule: Monday-Sunday

Time (GMT): 0330, 1130, 1930

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