Asia-Pacific economies look forward to progress in trade talks between the US and China
Progress in trade negotiations between
the United States and China will be beneficial not only to both countries but
also to Asia-Pacific nations which are bound close in global supply chains,
according to speakers at an international forum in Singapore.
And major powers are looked upon for increased understanding and
positive competition and win-win cooperation in providing global public
services instead of zero-sum rivalry, Zhang Xiaoqiang, executive vice-chairman
and CEO of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said at a
Cautious optimisms are expressed over upcoming progress in
bilateral trade talks for the first phase, he said, and basic principles for
next phases could be set though it is not a matter of China unilaterally.
What Asian economies other than China want least are conflicts
between major powers such as the US and China, he said after heated discussions
in nearly two days. Regional blocs and varied nations are willing to provide
channels for mutual dialogue and exchanges for all, especially for powers in
Dozens of experts from both countries and Singapore, India,
Thailand, Indonesia and several other nations and regions exchanged views on
prospects of China-US relations at the conference jointly held by CCIEE, the
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Brookings Institute on Oct 30-31.
Wei Jianguo, vice chairman and deputy
executive officer of CCIEE, noted any progress in the first phase comes hard,
but what is important is that both the US and China have learned of core
concerns and red-lines of each other and be better prepared for further
"The haze is gone, but the sky is not fully clear, so more
efforts are needed," Wei told journalists.
China is not to replace the US in supremacy and China is not to
change the international mechanisms in global governance, he said. China, like
many other developing nations, just seeks to reform and improve the global
economic institutions such as the World Trade Organization.
Tarun Das, chairman of New Delhi-based
think tank Institute of Economic Growth, said the rest of the world are eager
to see China and the US join hands in tackling global challenges including
"What are the choices before the US and China, competition,
conflict, or collaboration?" he asked in his remarks. "We need to
avoid conflict for everyone's sake. Can we see a picture of competition plus
collaboration?" adding that we have a shared future.
There is this increasing coming-together of technology in the
US, China and the rest of the world, Charles Freeman, senior vice president of
US Chamber of Commerce, told China Daily. But the challenges are varied
governments may have own concerns in security issues.
Wei Jianguo, vice chairman and deputy executive officer of
CCIEE, talks to the media on Oct 31.
Wei said the concerns over US-China
investments should include the US regulators often citing strange grounds to
pour cold water on Chinese investors' plans. A processed meat producer
from China is even barred from buying plots of land for pig-raising purposes in
the US on the ground of "national security concerns".
On the other hand, US investors are occupying the most booths in
China's import fair in November and small and medium-sized US businesses are
eyeing opportunities in the world's largest market.
Other guests in closed-door panels also offered constructive
suggestions for nations to come together for a world that is more balanced,
more inclusive, and fairer, said Zhang, who has attended all panels.
Many have realized that China may have different approaches in
reforming current economic and diplomatic mechanisms but has been willing to
discuss with others, he added.
Das also stressed in an interview with China Daily that China
and the US need to work together, noting that breaking the global supply chain
"is bad for everybody". Given the global impact of the US-China trade
conflict, more dialogues should be held to include other stakeholders, he said.
Das, who once served as director general of the Confederation of
Indian Industry, said the China-US trade conflict has affected everyone
connected in the global supply chain, especially Asian countries as they're
deeply connected with both the US and Chinese economies.
"We are all experiencing pain," he said, noting that
"the pain is not bilateral only. It has become multilateral".
"Innovation depends on openness," Das said, adding
that all the technological development has relied on the knowledge sharing
He reiterated the concerns earlier expressed a day earlier by
Zeng Peiyan, chairman of the CCIEE and former Chinese vice premier, on how some
sectors' calls for decoupling will damage the interests not only of China and
the US, but the rest of the world.
He said US government's decision to blacklist Chinese
telecommunications company Huawei is one example on how the trade conflict is
affecting the technological sector.
The US Department of Commerce has put Huawei and other Chinese
technology companies to its "entity list", which restricts their
access to US technology.
Bert Hofman, director of the East Asian Institute in LKYSPP,
said the US might argue that putting up an 'entity list' doesn't contravene the
rules set by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as there's a security issue
involved. But he said this point debatable and should involve not only the two
countries but other affected stakeholders as well.
Speaking with China Daily, Hofman said the issue of Huawei alone
"affects many countries and even US companies because Huawei has a big