Chinese vice premier calls for cooperation to address differences between China, US

USA and Chinese officials will try to ease trade tensions and bridge differences on Wednesday in annual economic talks that trade experts say will likely yield some small-scale agreements to grant US firms more access to some of China's markets.

"Dialogue can not immediately address all differences, but confrontation will immediately damage the interests of both", Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said as the China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue got underway.

Wilbur Ross, the USA commerce secretary, acknowledged that dialogue between both countries has become "more challenging".

Leaders of the USA and China, the world's two largest economies, will sit down on Wednesday to talk about trade, markets and finance.

Ross acknowledged that the dialogue has become more challenging as US and Chinese officials grapple with more sensitive issues.

Just before the CED, there were reports that the U.S. could further block imports of Chinese steel and aluminum due to China's act of "dumping". But only 4 percent of China's IC imports came from the US.

At Mar-a-Lago, the two sides established a four-track comprehensive dialogue mechanism and agreed to work on a 100-Day Action Plan, which was due on July 16.

In the past, USA and China had patchy business relations.

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Mnuchin on Tuesday said the USA wants specific deliverables from the CED and that the US will use the discussions to push China on lifting foreign ownership restrictions in its financial services industry and to remove hurdles for information and technology sectors.

"As the world's two largest economies, the United States and China have strong overlapping interests and need to work together", said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

"China has in recent years revised at its own initiative the Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industries several times, leaving only 63 industries under restriction, 117 fewer than that of the 2011 version, down by an impressive 65 percent", he said.

The business lunch attended by US and Chinese business leaders comes as the USA considers new tariffs on Chinese steel and new calls for the Chinese government to put pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program.

Mr Wang said the key point about the CED is the two countries are "having dialogue, not confrontation".

The U.S. president in June said China hadn't done enough to control North Korea and its nuclear weapons program, though he appeared to brush over differences from that threat and about trade issues during the Group of 20 meeting earlier this month. But he said the two countries have "shared objectives".

Noting that two USA financial institutions have just gained licenses to conduct bond underwriting and settlement businesses in China's interbank bond market, he said: "This is a result of the greater opening of China's financial sector".

  • Adam Floyd