$253 billion trade deal to boost China-US ties

By CGTN's The Point

“I was surprised that the number was that large. I took it as a very good thing. It shows that the two governments are working very hard to demonstrate that the bilateral relationship is really beneficial to the people of both countries,” said Timothy Stratford, managing partner at the Covington & Burling law firm in Beijing.
Stratford’s comments come after Chinese and US companies sealed a total of over 253 billion US dollars’ worth of bilateral trade and investment deals during President Donald Trump’s first state visit to China, setting a record in the history of bilateral trade.
Jorge Heine, the Chilean ambassador to China, agreed that the historic China-US trade deal is a positive thing, saying that as China and the US are the two biggest economies in the world, “all these deals do is to give trade the impetus to their growth and, in doing so, to help the rest of the world’s economy.”
However, Lu Xiankun, an associate professor at the University of International Business and Economics of China, pointed out that, “signing contracts is good, but those are more commercial and short-term ones.”
US President Donald Trump at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on Nov. 9, 2017. /VCG Photo

US President Donald Trump at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on Nov. 9, 2017. /VCG Photo

For China-US relations to be more sustainable, “some bigger systemic and structural movements should be made by both sides,” he said.
Indeed, some may worry that the billion-dollar trade deal could overshadow the deeper systemic issues in the China-US bilateral economic relationship, making the work ahead of boosting and strengthening long-term ties difficult.
“From my discussion with the American officials, I think they are very intent on raising those issues and I expect that we are going to see some very tough negotiations between the two governments in the coming months,” said Stratford. 
Although US President Trump has said that right now the China-US economic relation is “a very one-sided and unfair one,” he does not blame China for the US’s huge trade deficit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping insisted that China and the US are countries with important influence in the Asia-Pacific and while they may have differences on some issues, as Xi himself said, “the Pacific Ocean is big enough to accommodate both of us.”
“This trade deal and the very positive discussions between the two presidents have set a very positive tone that would help facilitate those discussions,” said Timothy Stratford.
The Point with Liu Xin is a 30-minute current affairs program on CGTN. It airs weekdays at 9:30 p.m. BJT (1330GMT), with rebroadcasts at 5:30 a.m. (2130GMT) and 10:30 a.m. (0230GMT).