III. China is committed to credible consultations based on equality and mutual benefit
The Chinese government rejects the idea that threats of a trade war and continuous tariff hikes can ever help resolve trade and economic issues. Guided by a spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, the two countries should push forward consultations based on good faith and credibility in a bid to address issues, narrow differences, expand common interests, and jointly safeguard global economic stability and development.
(I) Consultations should be based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit
It is only natural for China and the US, the two largest economies and trading nations in the world, to experience some differences over trade and economic cooperation. What truly matters is how to enhance mutual trust, promote cooperation and manage differences. For the good of the common interests of the two countries and global trade order, and in a strenuous effort to push forward the economic and trade consultations, China remains committed to resolving issues through dialogue and consultation, responding to US concerns with the greatest patience and sincerity, properly handling differences while seeking common ground, and overcoming obstacles to practical solutions. During the consultations, in accordance with the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, China's only intention is to reach a mutually acceptable deal.
Mutual respect means that each side should respect the other's social institutions, economic system, development path and rights, core interests, and major concerns. It also means that one side should not cross the other's "red lines". The right to development cannot be sacrificed, still the less can sovereignty be undermined. As regards equality and mutual benefit, we must ensure that the two sides in the consultations operate on an equal footing, that results are mutually beneficial, and that any final agreement is a win-win one. Negotiations will get nowhere if one side tries to coerce the other or if only one party will benefit from the outcomes.
(II) Consultation involves working toward the same goal in good faith
Consultation calls for mutual understanding and genuine effort from both sides. Consultation is a process where the parties concerned seek consensus or make compromise through discussion. Many factors are at play in consultation. It is perfectly normal during consultations for the parties to react differently to various changes at different stages based on their own interests. The Chinese government believes that economic and trade consultation is an effective way to solve issues. None other than engagement with goodwill and a full understanding of the other's position can contribute to success. Otherwise, it will be hard to reach a sustainable and enforceable deal as the parties will not find the ground for a long-term and effective agreement.
Good faith is the foundation of consultation. The Chinese government has engaged in these consultations with the US with the utmost credibility and the greatest sincerity. Attaching great importance to US concerns, China has worked hard to look for effective paths and find ways to address differences. The 11 rounds of high-level consultations have made significant progress. The outcomes of the consultations have not only served the interests of China, but also those of the US, as a result of both sides' efforts to pull in the same direction. China has kept its word during the consultations. China has emphasized repeatedly that if a trade agreement is reached, it will honor its commitments sincerely and faithfully.
(III) China will not give ground on issues of principle
Every country has its own matters of principle. During consultations, a country's sovereignty and dignity must be respected, and any agreement reached by the two sides must be based on equality and mutual benefit. On major issues of principle, China will not back down. Both China and the US should see and recognize their countries' differences in national development and in stage of development, and respect each other's development path and basic institutions. While no one expects to resolve all issues through one single agreement, it is necessary to ensure that any agreement will satisfy the needs of both sides and achieve a balance.
The recent US move to increase tariffs on Chinese exports does not help to solve bilateral trade issues. China strongly opposes this and has to respond to safeguard its lawful rights and interests. China has been consistent and clear on its position, that it hopes to resolve issues through dialogue rather than tariff measures. China will act rationally in the interests of the Chinese people, the American people, and all other peoples around the world. However, China will not bow under pressure and will rise to any challenge coming its way. China is open to negotiation, but will also fight to the end if needed.
(IV) No challenge will hold back China's development
China's development may not be all smooth sailing. Difficulties or even perils are inevitable. Whatever the future might bring, China is confident of meeting challenges head on, turning risks into opportunities, and opening new chapters.
China remains committed to its own cause no matter how the external environment changes. The fundamental solution to economic and trade tensions is to grow stronger through reform and opening up. With the enormous demand from the domestic market, deeper supply-side structural reform will comprehensively enhance the competitiveness of Chinese products and companies. We still have sufficient room for fiscal and monetary policy maneuvers. China can maintain sound momentum for sustainable and healthy economic development, and its economic prospects are bright.
China will continue to deepen reform and opening up. China's door will not be closed; it will only open even wider. President Xi Jinping announced in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that China would adopt a number of major reform and opening-up measures, strengthen institutional and structural arrangements, and promote opening up at a higher level. Measures to be taken include expanding market access for foreign investment in broader areas, strengthening international cooperation on intellectual property protection, increasing imports of goods and services, implementing more effective international coordination on macro-economic policies, and putting more focus on the implementation of opening-up policies. A more open China will have more positive interactions with the world, which in turn will advance the development and prosperity of both China and the world.
Cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US and win-win is the only path to a better future. As to where the China-US economic and trade consultations are heading, China is looking forward, not backward. Disputes and conflicts on the trade and economic front, at the end of the day, need to be solved through dialogue and consultation. Striking a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement serves the interests of China and the US and meets the expectations of the world. It is hoped that the US can pull in the same direction with China and, in a spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, manage economic and trade differences, strengthen trade and economic cooperation, and jointly advance China-US relations based on coordination, cooperation and stability for the well-being of both nations and the world.