Progress made on China-U.S. trade talks, future seems bright
By CGTN's Global business
China and the U.S. both expressed a positive attitude after mid-level trade talks wrapped up in Beijing on Wednesday, the first in-person trade negotiations since a temporary tariff truce was declared last month.
China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in a statement Thursday morning that the three-day discussions "laid the foundation" for resolving the trade issue between the two countries and "the two sides have conducted a comprehensive, deep and detailed discussion on trade and structural issues… Both sides have agreed to continue to keep close contact."
U.S. President Donald Trump also expressed optimism on Tuesday and tweeted "Talks with China are going very well!"
The two sides remain positive, though there is no details of the outcome.
What was meant by the term "positive" was interpreted differently from both sides. The extent of an extra day of the negotiation could mean that both sides want to reach a deeper solution. "Because we don't see any outcome… that means both sides need to go back to talk to their higher-level decision makers, which also means that it opens the future to better solutions later," said Gao Yuning, professor from Tsinghua University.
This round of talks also clears the way for more senior-level discussions which could take place later. Foreign media have reported that higher-level decision-makers may meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland later this month.
"Before the 90-day ceasefire, there definitely needs a higher-level negotiation, trying to reach some real deals that satisfies both sides," said Gao.
While China's economy is continuing to go through some restructuring, some structural issues in the talks are related to China's comprehensive deepening of reform and opening-up, such as safeguarding intellectual property rights and tariff cuts.
"Those outside factors give a very clear stimulus for us. We transferred from a production-dominated economy to a more consumption-driven economy, the import tariff issue will become a very important issue for our own market. We also transferred from a quantitative growth to high quality development. That means we need to pay attention to intellectual property and innovative driven growth, which is also the same direction," said Gao.
He also added that as China turns into a more open economy, the obstacles that we face today won't be a problem anymore.
Until today, 40 days out of the truce between two countries have passed. China has been working to resolve the trade disputes and also made steps to address U.S. concerns, including opening its financial market, resuming soybean purchases and paying more attention to technology transfers. But whether a result will be hammered out depends on the joint efforts from both sides.