China urges US to lift export controls

08:48, May 10, 2011      

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China's high-level delegation urged the US to lift export and investment controls against the second largest economy, saying such a move could go a long way towards overcoming the steep trade imbalance between the two powers.

A good number of U.S. corporations have lost business opportunities and a fairly large market share in China, just because Washington has been imposing strict caps on high-tech exports to China.

"It is not fair for China and for US businesses," said China's commerce minister Chen Deming Monday, at the 3rd Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the two states now held in Washington DC.

The two global largest economies have far more shared interests than differences, and nothing would be able to draw back the momentum of cooperation, said Vice-Premier Wang Qishan, the top-ranking official of China's 100-member-strong delegation.

The Chinese team is led by Wang and State Councilor Dai Bingguo. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lead the US delegation.

It is widely expected that the discussion will concentrate topics including trade, mutual investment and global financial system reform during the two-day talks, as well as foreign policy. For the first time, military officers are joining the high-level talks, aimed at improving bilateral relations between the two major powers.

Leaders from both states sounded upbeat before media on their talks, emphasizing trust and common ground while trying to narrow differences, observers say.

Secretary Geithner said that sound China-US relations will benefit not only the two countries, but also the world economy. "Our ability to work together is important to the overall health and stability of the global economy.

"Thanks in no small part to the actions of the US and China, we have put out the worst of the financial fires and the world economy is growing again," Geithner said.

Ms Clinton said the annual talks aim to build a stronger relationship, "to weather through disagreements when they arise, and narrow areas where our interests diverge".

"We need to better understand each other, build trust to work to avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation,” Clinton said.

She did not refrain from mentioning obstacles in relations, as "some in the US see China's growth as a threat, while some in China worry America seeks to constrain China".

"A thriving US is good for China, and a thriving China is good for the US," she said.
After the opening session, the two sides will break into separate discussions on the economy and foreign policy.

One of the topics that Beijing cares quantitatively is China, as America's biggest creditor, wants assurances from Washington that its $1.2 trillion in U.S. Treasury holdings are safe, despite the impending congressional debate over raising the U.S. Federal government's $14.3 trillion borrowing limit.

"The Chinese are astounded that the US government would let the debate get to the stage where there is even a remote possibility of a default," said Eswar Prasad, a China expert at Cornell University.

While Geithner said last week that the US would press China to accelerate efforts to revalue the yuan, he had sounded a conciliatory tone prior to the talks. He noted that the yuan had risen in value by 5 percent since last June, and even faster once China's inflation was taken into account.

Also, China is not happy with Washington's hi-tech export controls.

The U.S. has imposed restrictions on more than 2,000 hi-tech goods to be exported to China, with mandatory requirement to clarify end-user and end-use in China before American manufacturers can export them to China.

By People's Daily Online
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