China, US need tighter business ties: researcher

08:13, January 18, 2011      

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The United States and China should enhance economic cooperation, rather than engage in trade conflicts. Cooperation creates huge benefits especially for the US, said Zhou Shijian, a senior China-US expert.

The senior fellow at the Center for US-China Relations at Tsinghua University also suggested that the US export more of its civilian high-tech products to China, especially those used in the energy-saving and environmental protection sectors, to help bilateral trade strike a balance.

Zhou made the remarks in an interview with China Daily ahead of President Hu Jintao's state visit, to the US which starts on Tuesday.

During the past year, China has been under pressure to allow its currency to rise as the US alleged that the yuan was undervalued. Meanwhile anti-dumping or anti-subsidy duties were charged on Chinese imports by the US, and trade-remedy cases targeting China were launched against many products.

"It is a time when the US economy and companies have never been more reliant on China, not only in terms of the country's cheap labor but also its huge consumption. Cooperation should be the mainstay of two-way economic relations," he said.

According to the US-China Business Council, US exports to China grew by a staggering 330 percent between 2000 and 2009, while its exports to Japan dropped by 21 percent.

From January to October of 2010, US exports to China rose by 34.2 percent from a year earlier to $72.3 billion, and China accounted for 9 percent of total US exports during the same period, said the US Department of Commerce.

In early 2009, the Obama administration announced it will double US exports during the next five years, as a means of reviving its economy.

"Without China, how could the US achieve such ambitious goals?" Zhou said.

China is the second-largest trading partner of the US and the third-largest export market for the US.

Zhou also called for the US to export more civilian high-tech goods, especially energy-related ones.

"It's understandable that the US is not willing to sell the high-tech goods for military use to China, but it does not need to worry too much about those for civilian use," said Zhou.

During the annual work conference in December, China's Ministry of Commerce said the country will focus on importing more goods in the areas of energy-saving, low carbon and new energy in the next five years.

In 2008, China and the US signed a framework on the 10-year cooperation on energy and the environment during the fourth China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue.

Source: China Daily
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