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U.S. policy changes needed to achieve U.S. goals

13:51, May 14, 2010

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By John Milligan-Whyte and Dai Min

Ambassador Huntsman indicates America seeks a positive, comprehensive and collaborative relationship with China. He believes that since cycles of disagreement and challenges have always been part of the relationship that disputes and collaboration can be compartmentalized. That is no longer true. During the global financial and economic crises America and China's trade, economic and national security confrontations and collaboration cannot be compartmentalized. Negative statements, incidents and trends that damage China or America's economic or national security also damage public opinion and thus policymaking outcomes in the world's two largest economies.

The global crises can be managed if America and China's policymakers achieve and sustain a positive, comprehensive and collaborative relationship. President Obama announced on May 24, 2009 that he was "launching a new era of partnership." But, a "new era" requires new policies. America's policies often are designed to be "win-win" only for America's economic and other interests. American policymakers often seek to confront or undermine China's vital interests while seeking China's help in protecting the United State's vital interests. Such policies are a hangover from the 20th century's Cold War. They are self-defeating and squander American and Chinese policymakers' opportunities to create effective new policies. They constrict the enormous progress that Chinese and American policymakers must quickly make in the Strategic and Economic Dialogues. Chinese policymakers can only implement and sustain policies that are beneficial to China. Trade and currency cooperation are examples.

Chinese and American policymakers were developing a collaborative relationship in managing the world financial crisis and for resolving some major global issues with effective consultation and negotiation. But, American policymakers announced tariffs on steel, tires and other goods made in China, filed 23 anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and special protectionist tariffs cases and launched six Section 337 investigations against China for alleged unfair practices in export trade. That 53 percent increase in the number of cases and involved $7.6 billion worth of Chinese exports was 800 percent more than the year before President Obama entered office. A positive trend in America and China's interdependent bilateral and multilateral relations must be recreated and then must not be upset.

President Obama pledged in his State of the Nation Address to double U.S. exports in an effort to increase America's competitiveness in the world market. America is seeking to increase its exports while setting up trade barriers for China's exports. Chinese companies' attempts to strengthen American trade with China are often blocked by the United States government and effectively resisted by the narrow interests of some powerful interest groups' negative influence on the creation and execution of U.S. policies on trade with China. To increase exports to China and stimulate America's economy President Obama's administration will need to eliminate existing American policies that have restricted trade with China, such as on dual use and other high technology, encourage Chinese companies' participation in American business opportunities and their investments and acquisitions in America, and propose new policies that are reciprocally beneficial for China and America. A breakthrough will occur when President Obama decides that it undermines America economic and national security to prepare for a war with China and that instead America must reciprocate China's peaceful coexistence policies with the America and reciprocate China's opening up to American investment in China and Chinese companies since 1978.

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The articles in this column represent the author's views only. They do not represent opinions of People's Daily or People's Daily Online.

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John Milligan-Whyte and Dai Min are the executive producers and co-hosts of the Collaboration of Civilizations television series adapted by the eight books they wrote in the America-China Partnership Book Series published in English and Mandarin in 2009-2010. They founded the America-China Partnership Foundation and Forum in 2008 and the Center for America-China Partnership in 2005. E-mail: [email protected]