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China upbeat about U.S. economy, urges fewer restrictions

(Xinhua)

17:04, August 19, 2011

BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Vice President Xi Jinping on Friday gave a vote of confidence for the U.S. economy while urging the country to remove trade and investment restrictions.

"The U.S. economy has always been highly resilient and has a strong capacity for self-repair. Therefore, we believe the U.S. economy will achieve even greater development as it deals with its challenges," Xi said while attending a business conference with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Friday morning.

The China-U.S. Business Dialogue drew 19 senior executives from leading Chinese and U.S. businesses, including the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company, Bank of China, Lenovo, General Motors, Caterpillar and J.P. Morgan.

Xi's upbeat tone came on the heels of an unprecedented U.S. credit rating downgrade earlier in August, which created global uncertainty about the safety of dollar assets.

China remained the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt as of the end of June, holding approximately 1.16 trillion U.S. dollars in U.S. Treasury securities.

NO HARD LANDING FOR CHINA

"China's economy is not heading for a hard landing," Xi said at the conference, stressing that China is confident and capable of maintaining stable economic growth.

China will continue to utilize a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy, maintain continuity and stability in its macroeconomic policies and make those policies more targeted and flexible, Xi said.

China will properly handle the relationship between stable and relatively fast economic development, economic restructuring and inflation expectations, he said.

"China will provide even greater business opportunities for American and other foreign companies, as China will import commodities worth more than 8 trillion U.S. dollars over the next five years," Xi said.

He called on Chinese and U.S businesses to work more closely in the energy, environmental protection, infrastructure, biomedicine and financial services sectors.

"The cooperative pattern that we started using three decades ago, which involved using funds and technology from the United States and labor and resources from China, has changed fundamentally," Xi said, adding that bilateral economic and trade cooperation is becoming more advanced.

Although they frequently cooperate with each other, Chinese and U.S. businesses are still competitors, Xi said. "We believe that benign competition will generate mutual benefit," he added.

REMOVAL OF RESTRICTIONS

With annual China-U.S. trade volume approaching nearly 400 billion U.S. dollars, Xi said it is natural for both sides to experience differences in bilateral trade.

Xi reaffirmed the importance of mutual respect, equal consultation and proper handling in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"China will give all businesses equal treatment when recognizing indigenous innovation and granting government contracts. We will create a good environment for all investors," Xi said.

He urged the United States to remove trade and investment restrictions and to take action to relax limits on U.S.'s high-tech exports to China. He also asked the country to create a fair investment environment for Chinese businesses.

Biden acknowledged problems in U.S.-China trade, calling for more candid discussions to tackle the issues. He added that the U.S. would like to work with China to facilitate market access and mutual investment.

Biden, who began his six-day China visit on Wednesday, is scheduled to meet with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao Friday afternoon.

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