After Donald Trump-Xi Jinping phone talks, China asks US to avoid ‘strategic misjudgement’

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Beijing | December 30, 2018 9:16 PM

China has pledged to take measures to step-up American imports and investments to meet the US' demand of bringing down the USD 375 billion bilateral trade deficit.

China, US, Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Donald Trump-Xi Jinping, bilateral trade deficit, world newsUS President Donald Trump with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. (Reuters)

China on Sunday urged the US to take more objective view of its pledge to take measures to bring down the bilateral trade deficit and said that the two countries should enhance strategic mutual trust and avoid “strategic misjudgement”. The statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry came a day after US President Donald Trump said talks on a deal to end the trade war with China are “moving well” after a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

China has pledged to take measures to step-up American imports and investments to meet the US’ demand of bringing down the USD 375 billion bilateral trade deficit. March 1, 2019 is the deadline for implementing the measures.

In the past, the US and China have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on over USD 300 billion worth of goods. An agreement reached between the two countries on the margins of the G20 summit in Argentina in November deferred the imposition of further tariffs till March. After Trump’s telephonic conversation with Xi on Saturday on the ongoing trade talks, Trump tweeted “Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China.

“Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made!”. Both leaders expressed willingness to push for the implementation of their agreements reached during the G-20 summit in Argentina, state-run Xinhua news agency reported about the Trump-Xi talks amid efforts by both countries to reach a deal to end the trade war. After a spate of tit-for-tat slapping of additional tariffs on each other’s exports, both countries declared truce till March 1 next year to reach an agreement on Trump’s demand that China should reduce the USD 375 billion bilateral trade deficit.

Officials from both countries have been actively working to implement such consensus, Xi told Trump, expressing hope that both sides can meet each other halfway and reach an agreement beneficial to both of them and the world as early as possible, Xinhua reported. Xi said next year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the US and China. China attaches great importance to the development of bilateral relations and appreciates the willingness of the US side to develop cooperative and constructive bilateral relations, he said.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the US should take more objective view of China’s development. The progress achieved in the past 40 years has not come easily, and experience should be derived from that, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in statement.

“The two sides should view each other’s strategic intentions in a rational and objective manner, step up strategic communication, enhance strategic mutual trust and avoid strategic misjudgement,” he said. The two sides should respect each other’s sovereignty, security and development interests and properly manage differences in an effort to avoid disturbing the general picture of bilateral ties, he said.

“Forty years ago, the bilateral trade volume was less than USD 2.5 billion… In 2017, it surpassed 580 billion dollars,” Lu said. Two-way investment between the two countries also soared over the period. In 2017, two-way investment in various forms amounted to over USD 230 billion in accumulative terms from almost zero 40 years ago, he said.

“Over the past 40 years, from advancing the proper settlement of regional hot-spot issues to fighting international terrorism, from tackling the global financial crisis to promoting global growth, China and the United States have conducted extensive cooperation at bilateral, regional and global levels,” Lu said. Facts have fully shown that the development of China-US ties has not only delivered huge benefits to the two peoples but also contributed to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world, he added.

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