Gao Feng, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, told reporters that Vice Premier Liu’s talks first with US Trade Representative Catherine Tai and then with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen were based on mutual respect, were constructive, and professionalism prevailed.
“Both sides agreed to put aside differences, highlighting the importance of economic and trade relations between Beijing and Washington and the potential for cooperation in specific areas,” he said.
Gao said the exchanges made it possible to address each side’s concerns, macroeconomic situation and domestic policies.
As a result, representatives of both forces agreed on the need to search for solutions to the problems that plague both consumers and producers, as well as to strive for the sound and stable development of mutual relations.
The day before, the Chinese vice premier had video chat with Yellin, and last week he did so by phone with Tai.
Liu is the head of the Beijing team that in recent years has negotiated solutions to the trade dispute with the United States, and finally in January 2020 they signed the first phase of an agreement aimed at burying the dispute.
Observers consider his contacts with officials in the administration of US President Joe Biden positive, although the two powers maintain friction on different fronts.
The 2020 Trade Agreement sets out obligations and mechanisms for dealing with disputes related to intellectual property, food and agricultural products, trade promotion, financing, currency and transparency, forced technology transfer, bilateral assessment, and dispute resolution.
He highlighted China’s commitment to import $200 billion from the United States for a two-year period of agricultural and marine products and manufactured goods such as aircraft, machinery, steel and goods from the energy sector.
The text also considers prohibitions and penalties for theft of trade and electronic secrets, as well as measures against all kinds of counterfeiting, piracy and copyright infringements.
Among other things, the two powers agreed that one could deny the other if they saw him as not honoring the agreement. If consensus is not reached, the complaint may reach the highest authorities.
But retaliation should not be applied if it is considered “in good faith” and they can abandon the agreement otherwise.
mem / ymr