UN chief calls for U.S.-China negotiation over trade, technology

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for dialogue and negotiations between the United States and China over trade and technology to avoid the polarization of the world market and economy.

Asked to comment on Washington's years-old technology dispute with China, Guterres said he has always advocated for the need for a unified global market and a unified global economy. 

"I've been, many times, saying that we need to avoid at all costs the division of the world into two, each with its own economic system and set of rules, each with its own dominant currency, each with its own internet, and each with its own technological strategy and artificial intelligence and in other aspects," he told a press briefing.

Guterres called on the world's two largest economies to find common ground over trade and technology through dialogue and negotiation to avoid such a scenario.

"Now, it is clear that, at the present moment, there are a number of differences," he said. "I've been advocating, both with U.S. and with China, on the importance of a serious dialogue and a serious negotiation."

On January 15, 2020, China and the U.S. signed the phase-one agreement after nearly two years of trade tensions and strenuous negotiations between the world's two largest economies. With the deal expired by the end of 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce recently called on the U.S. to create conditions for both nations to expand trade cooperation.

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China has repeatedly stressed that there is only one international system: the international system with the UN at its core, and only one set of rules: the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

Beijing has underscored three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation for its relations with Washington. The principles "represent the right way forward for restoring sound and stable growth to China-U.S. relations," Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in an interview on December 30, 2021.

"China's development and revitalization is a legitimate right of a sovereign country and, more importantly, an inevitable trend that cannot be changed or stopped by anyone," Wang stressed.

(With input from Xinhua) 

(Cover: File photo of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. /CFP)

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