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Prospects and Opportunity
Experts share views at high-level China-U.S. economic dialogue
 NO. 25 JUNE 22, 2017

The High-Level Dialogue on U.S.-China Economic Relations was held in New York City on June 14. Dozens of experts from the two countries discussed key economic topics including the Belt and Road Initiative, the 100-Day Plan announced at the Mar-a-Lago presidential meeting in April, bilateral economic relations and global economic governance. Excerpts of their views follow:

Tung Chee-hwa, former Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Belt and Road Initiative are huge Chinese undertakings in which the U.S. is more than welcome to participate. This will be beneficial to all those who are involved in the endeavor. China does not wish to impose her system or values on other nations. The truth is that hegemonic aggression is not in the DNA of the Chinese people. At the height of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when China had 30 percent of the world's GDP and a fleet of ships cruising back and forth along the maritime Silk Road, China never exhibited aggressive intent to colonize or occupy territories. To the Chinese people, peace stands above all.

Today, we can all take heart in the successful summit meeting between President Trump and President Xi this April in Florida. Although much still needs to be done, it was a positive beginning. It is a good omen that the relationship under their watch can move forward constructively.

Chen Wenling, Chief Economist of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges

China and the U.S. should find intersections of interest for win-win cooperation. U.S. restrictions of hi-tech exports to China have actually motivated the fast development of related industries in China. Therefore, such measures have essentially restricted the expansion of the U.S. hi-tech market.

China now accounts for nearly 30 percent of the world's manufacturing with an improved manufacturing system. Under such circumstances, China and the United States can complement each other, because value chains are now cross-border. We can make our competitive industries global value chains, such as in the case of U.S. aircraft giant Boeing, which has several bases in China for components manufacturing.

Bi Jiyao, Associate Dean of the Academy of Macroeconomic Research

The 100-Day Plan is a solution adopted by the two sides as a way of producing an early harvest to address problems in bilateral trade and explore a flexible method for solving divergences comprehensively. China utilized the early harvest concept in the negotiations for the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement more than 10 years ago, and it proved practical for promoting economic and trade relations. Such flexible solutions also fit for trade relations between China and the U.S. It helps avoid the possibility of the two sides becoming trapped in a dilemma due to hard issues by creating a good environment of trading relations.

Zhang Yuyan, Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

The latest research indicates that the overall impact of the China-U.S. trade balance on employment in the United States is positive. What China has earned in trade went back to the U.S. and created more jobs.

The falling employment in the manufacturing sector in the United States in recent years is mainly due to the weak recovery of the economy. Meanwhile, manufacturing productivity improved at a faster rate, which is a historical trend. Policies that only aim to shrink the U.S. trade deficit are bound to damage U.S. employment.

(Reporting from New York City)

Copyedited by Chris Surtees

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